In addition to aerobic capacity, strength, and flexibility, most fitness experts now include balance among the basic measures of fitness.
Sitting at a desk or in meetings all day can disorient your body and get you out of balance (in more ways than one). Regain your balance with this simple exercise.
I’ve learned versions of this balance exercise from a variety of tai chi, yoga, and dance teachers.
- Stand in a doorway or next to a filing cabinet or other sturdy structure so you can catch yourself if you wobble.
- Stand on one leg, pulling the heel of the other leg straight up so that your knee is in front of you and pointing outward just a bit. You should end up with the heel of the foot you have lifted near your midline, close to the opposite thigh, with the toes pointing downward.
- To increase your stability, bend your supporting knee just a bit. You don’t want to sink down much at all, just keep your supporting knee from locking.
- If you find yourself teetering, fix your gaze on a spot on the floor about 10 to 15 feet in front of you.
- If you still find yourself teetering, sink just a bit more onto your supporting leg. You may be tempted to rise up on the supporting leg, but you’ll actually be more stable if you let your weight sink toward the floor instead.
- Hold this position as long as you can.
- Repeat standing on the other leg.