You've likely lost your balance on occasion when riding a bike, rollerskating or dancing with friends. But it can be frustrating when you realize that persistent klutziness is occurring due to lack of balance. You can regain and improve your sense of balance by strengthening the muscles and engaging in exercises that involve coordination.
Reasons for Losing Balance
You can experience temporary lack of balance with a head cold, the flu or from rising too quickly. Foot problems or hearing and vision issues can cause loss of balance. More serious health concerns such as diabetes or Parkinson's disease can also contribute toward your balance being out of whack. If a sudden lack of balance continues to be a problem and you're feeling like a first class klutz, see your doctor so you can rule out serious health problems first.
Tai Chi for Regaining Balance
Tai chi is a form of exercise in which you move through a series of slow, precise movements to improve flexibility, strength and balance. Tai chi exercises can help you regain lost balance and avoid falling or embarrassing clumsiness. You can take tai chi at your local gym or use a DVD to exercise in your home. Besides helping you improve your balance, tai chi is a great stress-buster that can help you relax after your boss or kids have been driving you nuts all day.
Other Balance-Strengthening Exercises
Don't worry if tai chi isn't for you; it's not the only form of exercise that improves balance. Yoga is an excellent form of balance-strengthening exercise. Likewise, you can do simple exercises at home to regain balance. Stand behind a chair, and hold on lightly to prevent yourself from falling. Shift your body weight over your right foot, and then lift your left foot three to four inches off the floor. Hold the position for 20 counts before switching to the other foot. If you can perform this and other balance exercises without holding onto something, that's even better.
Strengthen your muscles and improve balance with side lateral raises. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand as you stand with your feet hip width apart. Raise your right arm out to the side until it's shoulder height while bending your right knee and lifting your leg out to the side as well. Lower your arm and leg simultaneously. Do eight to 24 side lateral raises on each side.
Strength Training Exercises
Strong muscles make a difference when it comes to your balance. As you begin to regain your balance with balance-improving exercises, start to incorporate strength training exercises into your fitness routine. Two to three 20-minute strength training sessions weekly will help you build muscle tissue to support your balance. Begin with simple exercises that engage the whole body, such as squats, walking lunges with bicep curls and pushups. Further tone your muscles while squeezing in a little cardio with swimming or water aerobic exercises.
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.