Sit to Stand
Start by sitting in a firm chair, ideally without armrest. Scoot towards the edge of the chair and bring your feet underneath you. Lean your shoulders forward and stand up. Try to stand up without using your arms to help you! If you aren’t able to stand up without using your arms, try adding a pillow under you to make the chair a little higher, just make sure the pillow won’t slide out from under you as you stand up and sit down. As you stand up, try to keep your knees from coming together as this can cause knee pain. As you sit down, allow your shoulders to come forward as your bottom goes back and focus on slowly lowering back down to the chair and avoid plopping down.
Suggested program: Repeat 10 times then take a break and repeat 10 more times. Do this once per day.
Single Leg Balance
Stand in front of a countertop or sturdy table. Pick which leg you want to start with and shift your weight over to that side and lift the other foot from the ground. It doesn’t matter how high you lift your foot off the ground, as long as it is no longer touching. Use your hands on your countertop as much as you need to for safety but as little as possible. If you aren’t able to stand on one foot, keep your hands on the countertop or table and start balancing on one foot with the assistance of your hands. As that gets easier, only use hand, then finger tips, then just a few fingers, and so on until you’re able to keep your balance without using your hands for assistance. It’s okay to let your other foot tap the ground as needed to catch your balance. Hold your balance for 30 seconds then switch to the other foot.
Suggested program: Hold your balance for 30 seconds on each foot, repeating 3 times on each side. Do this once per day.
Progression: When standing on one leg without support is easy you can increase the challenge by incorporating head turns. Stand on one foot and turn your head left to right while maintaining your balance for 30 seconds. Then stand on one foot and look up and down while maintaining your balance for 30 seconds.
It’s most ideal to perform this exercise along a countertop or narrow hallway where you could touch each wall on either side of you at the same time, for your safety to minimize your risk of falling. In a safe area, walk heel to toe to the end of the countertop or hallway then turn around and walk heel to toe back to your starting point. You can use your hand along the wall or countertop if it is difficult to keep your balance without using your arms and use your hands less as it becomes easier.
Suggested program: Walk heel to toe 20 feet for 4 repetitions. Complete this exercise once a day.
Progression: As walking heel to toe becomes easy to do you can increase the difficulty of this exercise by incorporating head turns. Walk heel to toe while turning your head left and right for 4 repetitions of 20 feet. Then walk heel to toe while looking up and down for 4 repetitions of 20 feet.