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You can do balance exercises almost anytime, anywhere, and as often as you like.

Having good balance is important for many everyday activities, such as going up and down the stairs. It also helps you walk safely and avoid tripping and falling over objects in your way.  Also try lower-body strength exercises because they can help improve your balance.

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SAFETY

Have a sturdy chair or a person nearby to hold on to if you feel unsteady.

Progressing

As you progress in your exercise routine, try adding the following challenges to help your balance even more:

  • Start by holding on to a sturdy chair with both hands for support.
  • When you are able, try holding on to the chair with only one hand.
  • With time, hold on with only one finger, then with no hands at all.
  • If you are really steady on your feet, try doing the balance exercises with your eyes closed.

 

Upper Body Exercises and Lower Body Exercises

Try to do strength exercises for all of your major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week for 30-minute sessions each, but don’t exercise the same muscle group on any 2 days in a row.

woman doing seated row with band

Seated Row with Resistance Band

woman doing chair dips

Chair Dip

arm curl with resistance bands

Arm Curl with Resistance Band

man doing wall push ups

Wall Push-Up

arm curl

Arm Curl

woman doing side arm raise

Side Arm Raise

man doing front arm raise

Front Arm Raise

woman doing overhead arm raise

Overhead Arm Raise

wrist curl

Wrist Curl

Hand holding a tennis ball

Hand Grip

woman doing stages of elbow extension

Elbow Extension

woman doing toe stand exercise

Toe Stand

man doing stages of chair stand exercise

Chair Stand

woman doing leg straightening exercise

Leg Straightening

man doing knee curl

Knee Curl

woman doing side leg raise

Side Leg Raise

man doing back leg raise

Back Leg Raise

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SAFETY

Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises. Holding your breath while straining can cause changes in blood pressure. Breathe in slowly through your nose and breathe out slowly through your mouth.

Progressing

Gradually increase the amount of weight you use to build strength. Start out with a weight you can lift only 8 times. Use that weight until you can lift it easily 10 to 15 times. When you can do 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions easily, add more weight so that, again, you can lift it only 8 times. Repeat until you reach your goal.

Endurance, or aerobic, activities increase your breathing and heart rate.

illustration of people walking or rolling

Walking or Rolling

woman gardening

Around the House

man bicycling

Outdoor Activities

women doing water aerobics

Indoor Activities

older adults playing seated volleyball

Sports

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SAFETY

Do a little light activity to warm up and cool down before and after your endurance activities.

Progressing

When you’re ready to do more, build up the amount of time you spend doing endurance activities first, then build up the difficulty of your activities. For example, gradually increase your time to 30 minutes over several days to weeks by walking longer distances. Then walk more briskly or up steeper hills.

Exercise is safe for almost everyone. For people with arthritis, exercise can reduce joint pain and stiffness. It can also help with losing weight, which reduces stress on the joints.

Flexibility exercises can help keep joints moving, relieve stiffness, and give you more freedom of movement for everyday activities. Examples of flexibility exercises include upper- and lower-body stretching, yoga, and tai chi.

Strengthening exercises will help you maintain or add to your muscle strength. Strong muscles support and protect joints. Weight-bearing exercises, such as weight lifting, fall into this category. You can use bottles of water or soup cans if you don’t have weights.

Endurance exercises make the heart and arteries healthier and may lessen swelling in some joints. Try low-impact options such as swimming and biking.

If you have a chronic condition, before beginning any exercise program, talk with your health care provider about the best activities for you to try.