General fitness - Week 5

Balance program

Improve your balance to help you gain more stability which will help you be more confident in all of your activities! Good balance can improve strength, coordination and help prevent falls.

General fitness balance tips

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Choosing a variety of exercises is important to keep the body fit and healthy. Balance is key component in preventing the risk injury and improving core strength. Improved balance may also make it easier to complete daily activities.

It is recommended that adults complete strength and balance exercises at least 2 times a week.

How to start:

  • Develop a routine of movements.
  • Use slow and controlled movements and remember to breathe.
  • Start by selecting a few exercises. Repeat them at least once.
  • Examples of exercises:
    • Leg balance figure 8
    • Squat to star

For a list of additional exercises, click the link to the Weekly Workout.

How to improve:

  • Try it again for another round. Exercises will get easier as you gain strength.
  • Increase the amount of time you hold the position by 10 seconds each week.
  • Add movement into the pose. Try moving your arm in different directions or close one eye.

Remember: For an extra challenge, balance exercises can also be completed while doing something else. i.e.) Brushing your teeth while standing on one foot.

Every body is different and the time it takes to improve will be different for each person. Start slow and work your way up.

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A note about safety

There is risk of injury when participating in exercise, physical fitness and physical training programs. If you have any concerns or questions about whether or not you should participate in exercise activities demonstrated on this website or videos offered on this website, you should consult with a physician or other health-care professional before starting any exercises.

The purpose of this NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY is to inform you that this website offers health and fitness information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

BY PARTICIPATING IN EXERCISE ACTIVITIES FEATURED OR VIDEOS OFFERED ON THIS WEBSITE, YOU DO SO FREELY AND VOLUNATARILY AND ASSUME ALL OF THE RISKS AND HAZARDS OF PARTICIPATION, INCLUDING THE LEGAL RISK. THE CITY OF CALGARY DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES AND ASSUMES NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY LOSS, PERSONAL INJURY (INCLUDING DEATH) OR DAMAGE (INCLUDING PROPERTY DAMAGE) SUFFERED BY ANY PERSON AS A RESULT OF THE USE OR MISUSE OF ANY INFORMATION, THIS WEBSITE AND VIDEOS MADE AVAILABLE ON THIS WEBSITE.

In consideration of performing or participating in these exercises shown on this website, you hereby agree to release and hold harmless The City of Calgary its officers, employees, volunteers and agents, against any loss, liability, damage, cause of action, cost, or expense of any nature whatsoever, including without limitation reasonable solicitors’ fees and other legal costs.

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1. Self Massage of the Foot

Sets: 1, Duration: 30 seconds

How to do self massage of the foot

​​Balance on one foot place the other foot on a ball 6-10 inches in front of you.

Inhale as you press your foot into the ball, rolling from your inner arch to your heel.

Only apply as much pressure so you feel a gentle massage sensation.

Repeat on other foot.

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2. Ankle Mobilization with Wall

Sets: 1, Hold: 15-30 seconds per position

How to do ankle mobilization with wall

​​Stand in front of a wall with your foot about a foot length from the wall.

Move your knee forward toward the wall while keeping your heel on the ground.

Repeat on other side. ​

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3. Ankle Circles

Sets: 1, Duration: 3 circles per direction per side

How to do ankle circles

Stand hip width apart, lift one foot off the ground so only the toes touch the floor and rotate the ankle in both directions.

Repeat with the other ankle. ​


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4. Stand to Sit Balance

Sets: 1, Reps: 5

How to do stand to sit balance

Start with your feet hip width apart and knees soft.

Raise your arms overhead with palms together and bring them in a prayer pose. As you lower your arms, pretend to sit in an invisible chair pushing your hips back and keeping your knees over your toes. Support your lower back by engaging your core.

To make this more challenging try closing your eyes. ​​​


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5. Hip Openers

Sets: 1, per side Reps: 8

How to do hip openers

With feet hip width apart find your balance.

Lift your right knee up and imagine you are bringing your leg over a stool.

Then repeat in the opposite direction toward your midline.

Repeat on other side. ​


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6. Squat to Star

Sets: 1, Reps: 8-12

How to do squat to star

Stand with your feet hip width apart with or without a pair of dumbbells (or cans) at your sides.

Brace your core and lower your body into a squat making sure your knees are tracking over your toes.

As you return to standing, lift one leg out to the side while raising your arms until they're parallel to the floor.

Repeat with the opposite leg, and continue alternating until you complete all the reps.

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