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Balance exercises

These simple balance exercises can be done at home to help improve your health and mobility.

Do not worry if you have not done much exercise for a while, these balance exercises are gentle and easy to follow. 

Wear loose, comfortable clothing and keep some water handy. Build up slowly and aim to gradually increase the repetitions of each exercise over time.

Consider doing the exercises near a wall or a stable chair just in case you lose your balance.

Try to do these exercises at least twice a week and combine them with the other routines in this series:

Sideways walking

A man standing with feet together, then feet apart after stepping sideways with one foot, then feet together after stepping sideways with the other foot.

A. Stand with your feet together, knees slightly bent.

B. Step sideways in a slow and controlled manner, moving one foot to the side first.

C. Move the other to join it.

Avoid dropping your hips as you step. Perform 10 steps each way or step from one side of the room to the other.

Simple grapevine

A man standing with the right foot crossed over the left, then feet together and uncrossed after moving the left foot.

This involves walking sideways by crossing one foot over the other.

A. Start by crossing your right foot over your left.

B. Bring your left foot to join it.

Attempt 5 cross-steps on each side. If necessary, put your fingers against a wall for stability. The smaller the step, the more you work on your balance.

Heel-to-toe walk

A man shown from the side, with the right foot directly in front of the left foot, then the left foot directly in front of the right foot, with the heel touching the toes.

A. Standing upright, place your right heel on the floor directly in front of your left toe.

B. Then do the same with your left heel. Make sure you keep looking forward at all times. If necessary, put your fingers against a wall for stability.

Try to perform at least 5 steps. As you progress, move away from the wall.

One-leg stand

A man standing up straight in front of a wall with arms stretched straight in front and fingertips touching the wall. Then in the same position but standing only on the right leg with the left knee raised.

A. Start by standing facing the wall, with your arms outstretched and your fingertips touching the wall.

B. Lift your left leg, keep your hips level and keep a slight bend in the opposite leg. Gently place your foot back on the floor.

Hold the lift for 5 to 10 seconds and perform 3 on each side.


A man standing in front of a step with the left foot on the step and the right foot on the floor, then both feet on the step, then the right foot on the floor again.

Use a step, preferably with a railing or near a wall, to use as support.

A. Step up with your right leg.

B. Bring your left leg up to join it.

C. Step down again and return to the start position.

The key for building balance is to step up and down slowly and in a controlled manner. Perform up to 5 steps with each leg.

Page last reviewed: 7 November 2023
Next review due: 7 November 2026