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Why Should Seniors Perform Balance Exercises?

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A group of seniors doing balance exercises at the gym.

One of the top healthy habits a senior can have is to exercise often. And part of a good exercise routine should include balance exercises. The nice thing about these exercises is that most people can perform them without issues. And if there is a problem, it’s often easy to modify the balance exercises to fit your abilities.

A community with amenities like fitness rooms or fitness instructors makes balance exercises a fun social event. But even if there are no helpful amenities like that, balance exercises can usually be performed from the comfort of your living room or bedroom.

Importance of Good Balance for Seniors

It’s easy to wonder why balance would be necessary for seniors. In most cases, an older adult isn’t performing activities that require much balance. However, there is some pretty good reasons to maintain good balance as an aging adult:

  • During these exercises, in addition to your balance, you’ll also improve your strength and posture
  • Balance exercises will help improve your coordination and stability
  • Reduce the risk of falling and tripping, which can be deadly for a senior
  • Reduces the need for assistance and allows you to go longer without it

Exercises to Improve Balance

Keep in mind when performing new exercises to ease into them. If you need assistance balancing, use a chair or another sturdy object. Let’s look at some great balance exercises you can do from the comfort of your home.

Tree Pose

The tree pose is a great exercise to improve balance, but it can be difficult to master. So, when you’re starting out, a chair is a good idea for this one.


  • Stand with feet a few inches apart
  • Shift your weight to one side
  • Raise the opposite foot against the inside of your leg
  • Hold as long as you can, up to 1 minute
  • Repeat on the other leg


The nice thing about this exercise is that in addition to helping to improve your balance, it will also help strengthen your leg muscles.


  • Stand with your heels touching the wall
  • Place one foot directly in front of the other so that the toes and heel touch
  • Repeat back and forth to walk in a straight line
  • Walk for 20 steps

Balancing on One Foot

Do this one with caution. Because of how the balance exercise works, it’s hard to use something to stabilize yourself when you’re first starting out. So, it’s a good idea to attempt this one only after you already have a decent sense of balance.


  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Bend one leg at the knee and raise your heel towards your back
  • Extend the opposite arm out sideways
  • Hold for around 20 seconds
  • Alternate between left and right 3 times
A senior woman does a balance exercise at home.


Even needing a walker for stability isn’t a reason to avoid doing balance exercises; marching is a great example, and so is the next one.


  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and both hands on your walker
  • Lift one knee as you can
  • Repeat with the other leg
  • Complete 20 repetitions

Heel-toe Raises

In addition to improving your balance, these heel-toe raises will also help improve muscle strength and control in your legs.


  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and both hands on your walker
  • Stand up on the balls of your feet with your heels in the air
  • Hold for around 3 seconds
  • Put your heels down and lift the balls of your feet up
  • Hold for about 3 seconds
  • Repeat 10 to 20 times

How Often Should a Senior Perform Balance Exercises?

The CDC recommends that seniors over 65 perform balance exercises around three days weekly. Depending on your particular circumstances, you may need to do it more, or you may need to do it less if there are other health factors.

As with most other exercises, moderation may be needed at times. The CDC recommendation isn’t a hard and fast rule. If your doctor thinks you should exercise less, listening is best because they’re accounting for your particular situation.

Here are some things to remember when exercising, balance exercises included:

  • Don’t overdo it
  • Take breaks as needed
  • Stay hydrated during and after
  • Eat healthy food
  • Stop if you feel dizzy
  • Consult your doctor first if you’re at high risk for things like a heart attack or stroke

How Bentley Commons Makes Healthy Living Easy

Finding a senior community that cares about all the details of their resident’s health and wellbeing is super important. Good indicators that this is the case are amenities that encourage this, such as fitness centers, walking trails, and group outings. Additionally, access to the right level of care is important.

If you’re considering an assisted or independent living community in Lynchburg, give us a call at Bentley Commons. Our professional staff can give you a tour of the community and answer all your questions.

Written by bentley

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