Exercise at Home

The following balance and strength exercises are easy to do at home. Make sure you have a chair, benchtop or wall nearby for support when you try them. Once you become more confident, you can hold for longer or increase the number of repetitions. Use smooth movements when performing these exercises and take your time. Stop exercising if you experience any unusual pain or discomfort and seek advice from a qualified health professional.

Exercises to do at Home as a Printable PDF

Heel to toe standing / walking

    • Helps keep balance when you have to walk through a narrow space
    • With fingertips on something solid to help balance, stand heel to toe, bend your knees slightly and keep still for 10 seconds.
    • Vary the exercise with feet close together and one foot halfway in front of the other.
    • Upgrade the exercise by walking slowly, placing your heel to touch the toe of the other foot.

Woman demonstrating heel toe standing exercise at bench

Knee raises

  • Helps with climbing stairs and getting in and out of cars and buses.
  • With fingertips on something solid to help balance, lift a knee to hip level and hold it for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Then repeat 8 times.

Woman demonstrating knee raise exercise at a bench

Side leg raise / sideways walking

  • Improves stability when you have to take weight on one leg, and helps you step sideways to avoid tripping.
  • With fingertips on something solid to help balance, stand on one leg and raise the other sideways, holding it for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 8 times.
  • Then do it with the other leg.
  • Extend to walking sideways with slow steps alongside a bench or table.

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Heel raise

  • Helps with walking and climbing stairs.
  • With fingertips on something solid to help balance, lift both heels off the floor and stand on your toes for 3 seconds, then slowly lower your heels to the floor.
  • Repeat 5 times.

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Stepping up a step

  • Improves stability on steps, paths and uneven surfaces.
  • Holding onto a rail, go up and down a single step.
  • Repeat 5 times.

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Sit to stand

  • Helps with getting up and down from a chair or toilet, and in and out of the car.
  • Stand up slowly from a chair, keeping your knees slightly apart. To make it harder, cross your arms in front of your chest or hold them out in front of you at shoulder height.
  • Then lower yourself back down into the chair.
  • Repeat 5 times.
  • If this is too strong for your knees, start off using a chair with armrests to push off from.

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© NSW Health 2015, Staying Active and On Your Feet

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