How to Improve Physical Balance

Poor balance can lead to painful and embarrassing falls.
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If you would fail a sobriety test without a drop of alcohol in your system, you may need to improve your balance. While this example may seem extreme, problems with balance -- even more minor ones -- can threaten your safety. It's easy to blame clumsiness as being part of your nature and accept it as such. There are exercises you can do, however, to improve balance so you can don your high-heels and stay steady on your feet.

Step 1

Stand up and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Start with your feet flat on the floor and your hands on your hip. Bend your right knee backward so all your weight is on your left leg. Tighten your abdominals and avoid swaying to keep this position for 30 seconds. Increase the difficulty by standing on a pillow.

Step 2

Make a straight 15-foot line on the floor with duct tape. Place your hands on your hips and walk heel-to-toe across the line. As you become more comfortable with walking a straight line, try walking heel-to-toe while wearing sunglasses to create a visual disturbance. The American Council on Exercise also recommends turning your head side-to-side while walking the straight line.

Step 3

Strengthen your lower body and core muscles. Weak muscles do not provide a sturdy base for balance and can increase your risk for a muscoskeletal injury. Squats, lunges and calf raises can be performed with or without dumbbells or a barbell and they strengthen your legs and glutes. Abdominal crunches and back extensions strengthen your core muscles.

Step 4

Lose weight if you're overweight. Excess weight can shift your center of gravity, so discuss a weight loss program with your doctor. Creating a calorie deficit based on your basal metabolic rate is the best way to lose pounds. There are 3,500 calories in 1 pound of fat, so you must create a deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories each week with diet and exercise to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week.

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