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Don't tip over

travel Updated: Dec 04, 2009 15:55 IST
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Did you know that our sense of balance starts degrading right from the 20s, getting progressively worse as we grow older, and increasing the likelihood of falls and injuries? Yet hardly anyone talks about exercising for balance, amongst all the cardio and strength training. Change that. Do these simple exercises to improve that delicate balance: 

NOTE: When you start, you can steady yourself with one hand, then one finger, then no hands. Finally, try to do the exercise with your eyes closed.

No-hands sitting
Rise from a chair without using your hands, then sit back down. Repeat.

Hip extension

Slowly raise one leg, hold it, lower it slowly. Repeat on other side.

Side leg lift
Keeping your back straight, slowly raise, hold, then lower one leg. Repeat on other side.

One-foot stand
Stand on one foot for as long as you can. Repeat with other foot. Balance check:
20-49 years: 24-28 seconds.
50-59 years: 21 seconds.
60-69 years: 10 seconds.
70-79 years: 4 seconds.

Walk heel to toe Repeat as many times as you can.

Knee bend
Keeping your back straight, slowly bend your knee as far as it will go, hold it, then lower. Repeat on other side.