How to Improve Balance

How to Improve Balance

How to Improve Balance, a video by The Dr. Gundry Podcast, shares a simple test that can reveal some insights about your longevity. By standing on one foot with your eyes closed for longer than 10 seconds, you can determine if you have good balance, which is an indicator of a long and healthy life. This article emphasizes the importance of balance in preventing falls and the associated healthcare costs. It provides practical exercises, such as weight shifts, heel raises, and heel-to-toe walks, to train your balance and strengthen your core. By incorporating these exercises into your daily routine, you can improve your balance and live a healthier life.

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How to Improve Balance

Balance is an essential aspect of our physical well-being. It not only indicates our overall fitness level but also plays a significant role in preventing falls and related healthcare costs. By training your balance regularly, you can enhance your core strength, stability, and coordination. In this article, we will explore several exercises and techniques that can help you improve your balance and live a long and healthy life.

Why is Balance Important?

Balance as an Indicator of Longevity

Did you know that your ability to balance on one foot for an extended period can reveal insights about your longevity? By standing up, setting a timer, and closing your eyes while balancing on one foot, you can test your balance. If you can maintain this position for more than 10 seconds, congratulations! You likely have good balance, which is often associated with overall physical fitness and a strong core. On the other hand, if you struggle with this test, don’t worry – you can still train and improve your balance.

Avoiding Falls and Related Healthcare Costs

Having great balance can significantly reduce the risk of falls, which can have severe consequences, both physically and financially. Falls are responsible for costing Americans billions of dollars in healthcare expenses every year, with broken hips being a common injury. In fact, 95% of broken hips are caused by falls. By improving your balance, you can minimize the likelihood of falls and the resulting healthcare costs, leading to a longer and healthier life.

Exercises to Improve Balance

To enhance your balance, you can incorporate specific exercises into your daily routine. These exercises focus on weight shifts, heel raises, and heel to toe walks.

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Weight Shifts

Weight shifts are a safe yet effective way to practice and improve one-foot balance. This exercise helps build leg strength and encourages core stabilization. To perform weight shifts, stand with your feet flat, hip-distance apart. Gradually shift your weight onto one foot and hold the position for as long as you can. Return to the center and repeat on the other side. Aim to do this exercise three or four times a day. If you find it challenging, feel free to use a wall or the back of a non-rolling chair for balance support.

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Heel Raises

Heel raises primarily target your calves, increase mobility, and strengthen your ankles. These are crucial for safely navigating your surroundings without the risk of falls. Start by standing flat-footed with your feet comfortably apart. Carefully lift your heels, shifting your weight onto your toes. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then slowly lower back down and repeat the movement ten times. During heel raises, ensure that your ankles are not buckling in or out to prevent injury. If balance is a significant concern, you can support yourself by using a wall or a chair for added stability.

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Heel to Toe Walks

Heel to toe walks, often incorporated in sobriety checks, are an excellent exercise for evaluating and improving balance. When practiced daily, they can help develop better balance over time. Find a long hallway, a large room, or a smooth stretch of sidewalk for this exercise. Start at one end and place one foot in front of the other, touching heel to toe. Fix your gaze on a spot on the horizon and walk, ensuring that each heel is directly in front of the other foot. Initially, you may feel a bit wobbly, so take your time. If it’s too challenging, you can use the wall for support along the hallway or raise your arms to shoulder height or above your head to increase the difficulty.

Training with an Inflatable Balance Trainer

If you want to take your balance training to the next level, consider incorporating an inflatable balance trainer into your routine. This specialized equipment resembles half an exercise ball and provides an unstable surface to challenge your balance further. By standing on the inflatable balance trainer, you engage various muscles in your legs and core, enhancing stability and coordination. A wide range of exercises can be performed on this trainer, allowing you to progress and advance your balance training over time.

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Core Exercises

It is crucial to train your core to maintain a strong and stable center of gravity, which is essential for balance. Incorporating core exercises into your routine can significantly contribute to preventing falls and improving overall physical stability. Three essential core exercises you can try are:

  1. Plank: Start by assuming a push-up position, keeping your body in a straight line from head to toe. Engage your abdominal muscles and hold the position for as long as you can without compromising form. Repeat this exercise several times, gradually increasing the duration.
  2. Russian Twist: Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lean back slightly while maintaining a straight spine. Clasp your hands together and twist your torso to one side, touching your hands to the ground. Return to the center and repeat on the other side. Perform this exercise in a controlled manner, focusing on engaging your core muscles throughout the movement.
  3. Dead Bug: Lie flat on your back with your arms extended toward the ceiling and your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Slowly lower one arm overhead while simultaneously extending the opposite leg, keeping them just above the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Continue alternating sides, ensuring that your lower back remains in contact with the floor throughout the exercise.


Regular balance training is essential for maintaining physical health and reducing the risk of falls and related healthcare costs. By incorporating weight shifts, heel raises, and heel to toe walks into your routine, you can gradually improve your balance over time. Additionally, training with an inflatable balance trainer can provide an extra challenge for those seeking more advanced balance exercises. Remember to also prioritize core exercises, as a strong core is vital for maintaining stability. By dedicating a small amount of time each day to these exercises, you can make a significant impact on your balance and overall well-being. So give it a try this week and experience the impressive results for yourself. Here’s to living a long and healthy life with improved balance!