Ordinarily, being young and healthy, we tend to take our balance for granted.
Yet as you get older, you will notice that your balance is something that declines rapidly with age.
Losing your balance and falling when you are older is much more detrimental and can cause serious injuries.
Therefore, performing exercises to improve your strength and balance can help you greatly retain most of your Balance and limit the loss of your Balance and performance, which prevents falls because of loss of Balance.
Why are Balance Exercise’s Good for Seniors
But first, let us look at why Balance Exercises are so essential for senior persons in the first place;
- Falling – One of the most common and vital reasons is to prevent FALLING. When you get older, many factors contribute to falling. Your vision may decrease, your hips and legs weaken, you have a proper posture, lose your ability to lift your legs and feet high, medications cause dizziness, and low blood sugar can lead to lightheadedness. With all these issues, a proper Balance can greatly reduce your risk of falling.
- Difficulty Regaining Balance – Much of the decline in Balance in elderly persons is due to the lack of exercise or activity in their lifestyle. Training will improve your lower and upper body’s strength, which will challenge your Balance with activities to improve your Balance greatly.
Balance Exercise Checklist
Before we start with our Balance Exercise Routine, there are a few things that you will need to have in place;
- Armless Chair – You will need a regular armless chair such as a kitchen or dining room chair that is stable and solid.
- Smooth Bottom Shoes – Wear shoes that are comfortable with a softer bottom, that is not tacky, as you don’t w want it to catch on carpets and floors, causing you to trip.
- Kitchen Counter – A counter or Kitchen Counter that is the hip height or higher to hold on to.
- Something to Step Over – A small obstacle such as a box or stuffed toy that you can step over.
- Painters Tape – A strip of painters tape or anything that can encourage you to walk in a straight line.
- Something to Stare At – A Book, paper, or picture that you can look at while walking.
I recommend having a stable family member or persons around to help you lose your balance unless you are more confident in your abilities and balance range.
Balance and Strength Exercise Routines
Below are some videos and some excellent balance routines; furthermore, we have some steps you can follow using your checklist items;
Single Limb Stance – The best way to start is to balance on one leg. Start by holding onto a chair or kitchen counter and lift one leg. Find your balance and hold it for a few seconds. You can advance by slowly letting go of your grip on the chair until you can finally balance on one leg without holding on to anything. Remember to alternate your legs for balance.
Eye Tracking – In this exercise, you can use your finger or an object and track it with your eyes while moving it side to side. Do this standing straight up. This is an easier exercise that helps you with your focus, which can affect your balance.
Clock Reach – Do this exercise standing up, one arm straight up shoulder-length, and stretched out. Try to reach as far back as you can without falling over. You may need some help with this exercise if you are not very confident in your balance capabilities.
Staggered Stance – Use the Kitchen table as a support while doing this exercise. Place one foot forward right in front of the other in a straight line and try to hold your balance without support.
Single Limb Stance With Arm Excercise – In this exercise, you will balance on one leg and lift one arm while focusing at eye level in front of you. The Video gives you a more detailed idea of how to perform this activity.
Knee Marching – Use the chair or countertop as support and march on our feet on one spot lifting your knees as high as possible. This exercise helps you to be able to step over objects more easily.
Body Circles – Standing on one spot with your support chair or counter close by, make circles with your entire body as shown in the video. Keep in mind to stop and sit down anytime that you may feel dizzy. Try to keep standing on that single spot without moving around.
Heel to Toe Walking – This is a more advanced balance exercise to do when you are more confident in your balance. Use your Tape or object for a straight line. Now try to walk in a straight line, placing one foot straight in front of the other, heel to toe.
The GrapeVine – Holding on to the Counter Top, walk several steps in one direction, then turn around and walk in the opposite direction. The video will show you more in-depth exactly how to perform the Grapevine routine.
Stepping – For this exercise, you need more balance and confidence. Use a step or steps in your home. You will climb up the one step one foot and the next foot until both feet are on the step and then step down one foot after the other similarly. This is repeated a few times.
Dynamic Walking – For m seniors who have better confidence in their balance, this is where your focus or reading materials come in handy. You will focus on something in front of you while walking forward. Assistance is advised for this exercise.
You should see your balance improve significantly by following these easy exercises.
Remember to take it slow at first and ask for help; it is always safer to have a sturdy adult around if you lose your balance.
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