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Core and toe exercises to improve balance

Dr. Allyson Coffin is a chiropractor with Align With Wellness in Yarmouth. She shows us how to improve toe mobility, which helps with balance.

YARMOUTH, Maine — A strong core is one key to a balanced body. Chiropractor, Dr. Allyson Coffin says another important factor in balance is strong footing.

"Our feet are the only thing that gives us input into the world. Your arms are not touching the wall and telling you where you are, neither is your side, your feet are," Coffin says. "So if you don’t have good sensation in your feet or good contact with the ground, you’re not going to be balanced."

Dr. Coffin has a few stretches that will help restore some balance. First, kick off your shoes to stretch your toes.

Two toe mobility exercises:

1. Kneel on the ground. With the bottoms of your toes pressed into the ground, sit back on your heels. If your toes are tight, this will hurt and you may only be able to hold this for 3-4 seconds. Hold this stretch up to 30 seconds if you can, no more than that. 

2. Start on your knees for this second exercise, with the bottoms of your toes touching the ground. Slowly crawl forward using your hands, and let the top part of your foot drag along the ground as you move, one leg at a time. 

This stretches the top of the foot and helps with plantar fasciitis.

RELATED: Stretches that restore posture

Core exercises:

1. Begin with a chair off to the side, hold onto it with one hand for balance. Lift one leg, keeping the foot away from the straight leg. Pull your core in, and balance there. Switch to the other leg.

2. Stand facing the chair. Lift one leg to the bottom of the chair, then set it back down. Alternate legs for ten sets, which mimics walking upstairs. Try without holding onto the chair for balance. 

3. Ditch the chair and try this stabilizing exercise: Stand on one foot, keeping your core strong. Lift your arms above, and as you lift one leg straight behind you, lean your upper half, forward to create a horizontal line. Arms can be brought to either side like an airplane. Hold as long as you can. 

Follow Dr. Allyson Coffin on TikTok or Instagram for more tips: @alignwithwellness