If you are someone who struggles with balance, and is looking for a great exercise that you can do, with minimal equipment and space, then you are in the correct place! Balance, and specifically, trying to improve your balance, will be something that is always prevalent with seniors and individuals with special needs. Let’s look at another great low impact balancing exercise for seniors!
Balancing Exercise for Seniors – Heel to Toe Walk
The heel to toe walk, or “drunk walk,” is one of my favorite exercise to do with individuals. The main reason is because that it doesn’t take much introduction, (and it is fun to say drunk walk out loud.) The balancing exercise itself works your dynamic balance quite a bit, really challenging your stability throughout the movement as well. For the exercise you will need a couple of pieces of equipment before you get started.
Equipment for the Balancing Exercise
I will start by saying that there is technically no equipment you really “need,” however, these things can make the experience of the exericse better. The equipment listed below is the recommened items that you may purchase to work on this balancing exercise. The soft tape measure is used as a way for you to track how far you are actually stepping in your balance, and also keep your feet stepping in a straight line. If you have a piece of light string, or simply some tape you can put on the ground, that will work fine for this balancing drill. The short balance beam is another great option to make this balancing exercise for seniors a little more difficult. If you aren’t up to purchasing a short balance beam, a 2*4 piece of wood will work fine as well!
Soft tape measure: https://amzn.to/3saNOk2
Short balance beam: https://amzn.to/3LVcdC5
Practicing the Heel to Toe Exercise
For the heel to toe balancing drill, you will need to start with either the tape measure, or the tape lined out in front of you. Ideally a 15-20 foot section will be enough of a length for you to get in a good length of the exercise. Once you have the section set out, you will start with both of your feet together, at the start of the line. Next, slowly bring one foot onto the line. You will then bring your other foot’s heel, up to the toe of foot that you just planted. At this point you will now be “walking the tightrope.” This portion of the balancing exercise is where you will start to notice difficulty. You can then walk heel to toe all the way up the line, and back. Practice this balancing exercise at least 5 times down and back to get in enough work to improve
Making the Exercise Harder
There are numerous ways that you can make this exercise harder. The way that we demonstrate this is through the use of a piece of wood or the short balance beam. For this variation, you will do the heel to toe balancing exercise we listed above. The catch is that since you are elevated off the ground, the difficulty increases quite a bit. If you are advanced in your balance skill, feel comfortable trying out this exercise. If the last variation was very difficult for you, I would recommend mastering that before you move on to the harder variation.
Good luck on your balance practice! We hope you find this article useful. If you did, make sure to share with others to help practice their balance as well!
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