Week 3 Balance Exercises
Exercises to increase balance and decrease motion sickness
All of the motion sickness exercises should make you slightly dizzy or nauseous. While this does not sound fun, remember the saying, no pain no gain. Unless you push your brain past its comfort point, no rehabilitation can be gained. Most people will feel the effects for 5-10 minutes after finishing the exercises. If you continue to feel dizzy or nauseous after an hour, decrease the amount or speed of the exercises for next time. Remember, start slowly and don’t overtax your system. This is a marathon, not a sprint. You can begin by trying out all of the new exercises on the first night or by choosing to only do one or two new ones a night and spreading them out throughout the week. Continue adding on to the previous weeks’ exercises and switching them up every night so that your body doesn’t adapt to one move only!
When attempting these exercises, always make sure to be holding on to something stable or to be near something stable that you could easily grab if you begin to lose balance. If you start feeling overly nauseous or dizzy, take one hand and press down on the top of your head for a few seconds or make a pair of binoculars with your hands and look through them at the ground.
Motion Sickness: (More detailed explanation below)
- Hold a business card an arm’s length away and turn your head from side to side and up and down while focusing your eyes on the card.
- Continue to hold the business card an arm’s length away, but this time when turning your head from side to side and up and down, bring the card side to side and up and down as well.
Start with a business card or some other small object that you can focus on when holding it an arm’s length away. Focus on the target while turning your head from side to side for at least one minute. Repeat the exercise while moving the head up and down.
Now, when turning your head from side to side move the business card side to side as well in the same direction as head movement, and then up and down. Finally, repeat this exercise while moving the business card to the opposite of side of where you are looking, but make sure to stay focused on the business card at all times.
This week we are going to work on ankle sways. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms at side looking straight ahead. Slowly shift your weight forward to your toes and then backwards to your heels for one minute. All movement should come from the ankles, there should be no bending at the hips. Next, shift your weight from side to side.
Start this exercise with eyes open and then try eyes closed. To train different parts of your brain, you can try practicing this exercise on a foam pad or cushion as well.