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Balance exercises.

The "penguin"

Stand tall, with your back straight and abdominal muscles contracted. Keeping your legs a little farther than hip-distance apart, shift your weight from side to side, picking your foot up slightly; balance for a few seconds every third step. As you balance, think of standing as tall as you can on that leg, pushing your foot into the ground, and lifting as tall as possible. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds; stop for a few minutes, then repeat for another 30 to 60 seconds.

Toe and heel walking

Hold onto a handrail or touch your hand against a wall as you walk forward 10 to 20 steps on your toes; then take 10 to 20 steps on your heels. Repeat the sequence three times. As your balance improves, walk without touching the handrail or the wall.

Chair squat

Stand in front of a steady chair with feet about hip-width apart. Engage your abdominal muscles by gently pulling them in and up; slowly lower your buttocks and bend your legs as though you were going to sit down in the chair. Instead, just touch the chair seat lightly with your buttocks, then return to a standing position. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

Tandem walking

Stand tall at the end of a hallway or one side of a long room. Engage your abdominals and place one foot in front of the other so that the heel of the forward foot touches the toes of the rear foot. Walk forward as if you were on a tightrope, placing one foot in front of the other, making sure the heel of one foot touches the toes of the other as you move. Take 20 steps in one direction, then turn around and take 20 steps back to your starting point. Repeat at least twice a day.

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:RISK REDUCTION
Publication:Women's Health Advisor
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2013
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