Choose Health: Be Active: A physical activity guide for older Australians

Stretching and balance exercises

Page last updated: March 2009

Front leg and ankle stretch

Remove your shoes and sit on the edge of a chair. Lean back and stretch your legs out in front of you. Keep your heels on the floor and stretch your ankles so that your toes point towards the floor. If you don’t feel the stretch in your ankles, lift your heels off the floor. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.

Hamstring stretch

Sit on the lounge with your right leg up, toes pointing up. Try to keep this leg straight. Keeping your back straight, lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your right leg. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds. Repeat 3- 5 times, then turn around and do this stretch with your left leg.

Stand on one foot

Stand next to the kitchen bench or the back of a chair – hold on if you need to. Lift your right leg and stand for 10 seconds on your left leg. Repeat 5 times. If you feel steady enough, do it without holding on. If you are very steady on your feet, try this with your eyes shut.

Walk heel to toe

Stand next to a support (the kitchen bench will do) and step forward by putting the heel of one foot directly in front of the toes of the other foot, so that they touch (or almost touch). If you can do this easily without holding on, try it with your eyes shut. Have someone stand next to you to support you if you need help.