Introduction Balance Exercise for Seniors
Balance Exercise for Seniors. Even for older adults who are physically active and fit, there comes a time when their balance begins to diminish. And it’s a natural part of ageing. But a wide variety of strength and balance exercises for seniors can help you maintain your balance. Also, not only will improving balance help your overall quality of life. Here, it’s also one of the most effective ways to prevent falls and other injuries. These five exercises are perfect for getting you started.
Here are the main reasons balance training is essential for seniors and the elderly: Joint And Muscle Health. Balance training involves using several muscle groups. When you build muscle, it protects your joints and bones. At the same time, it will also make it easier to keep your balance. Concentration, Reaction Time, And Coordination. Balance training will help your mind and body to stay sharp. Consistent training will improve reaction time and improve your concentration levels.
Why Older Adults Lose Balance
Balance Exercise for Seniors. There are many reasons why older adults lose their balance as they age. A decline in eyesight resulting in vision problems like blurriness or distortion has a negative effect on balance. And problems with the ear canals and low blood pressure causing dizziness or lightheadedness. Also, tend to throw off our equilibrium. But of course, certain medications and specific health conditions can also play a role in losing balance.
The main reason that ageing adults lose their balance, however, is due to the loss of muscle mass. However, not only does this result in a marked decline in muscle strength. But it also affects the speed at which one moves. So then, according to Dr Anthony Komaroff of Harvard Medical School, strength and speed together influence power. Here, loss of power leads to a loss of balance. as power is what allows you to correct course quickly when you fall off balance. Also, to propel yourself forward with strength and confidence. In addition, as we age, reflexes also tend to slow. So then, our bodies may not react as quickly when we trip or misstep, which can result in falling.
BECAUSE THIS IS BALANCE TRAINING YOU NEED TO BE VERY CAREFUL AND SAFE USE A SUPPORT WHEN NEEDED
1. ROCK THE BOAT
Balance Exercise for Seniors. “Rock the boat” is one of the simplest and most effective balance exercises for seniors. It gets its name from the back-and-forth motion performed, but unlike its turbulent name, it’s important to remember to take it slow and focus on control.
How to do It.
- Start in a standing position with feet hip-width apart and bend your knees slightly.
- Slowly lift one leg to the side as far as you can safely, and hold the pose for a few seconds. (Extend the time as you progress)
- Slowly bring the extended leg back to the starting position, then repeat with your opposite leg.
- Hold onto a chair, walker or table as you extend your legs for extra support.
- Do this exercise10 times with each leg, or whatever you can manage.
2. SEMI SQUATS
Balance Exercise for Seniors. Also known as sit-to-stands, these modified squats act as strength training and balance exercises for seniors. This is an excellent example of a balance exercise you can do anytime throughout your day. All you need is a chair and some support like a table.
How to Do It
- Start in a standing position in front of a chair. In a controlled, smooth motion, ease yourself down into the chair.
- Rest for a moment, then stand back up focusing on using your quad muscles to control how quickly you stand.
- For a more significant challenge, do this exercise without a chair and only use a desk or other support to help yourself stand.
- Do this10 times.
3. SINGLE-LEG RAISES
For this balance exercise, you’ll need a sturdy support to lean on, preferably a firm chair or a countertop. As you improve over time, you can perform the exercise without the support and vary the exercise to different positions.
How to Do It
- To begin, stand up as straight as possible with your feet directly beneath your hips.
- Lift your left foot an inch or two off the floor and focus on standing perfectly straight with no lean.
- Keeping your weight on your planted right leg, maintain your left foot’s raised position for 5 seconds, then as you improve.
- Raise the leg higher with the knee at the waist level
- Return to the starting position with both feet on the floor, switch legs and repeat 10 times. Or whatever you can manage.
One of the simplest, easiest, safest balance exercises for seniors, marching in place may seem a bit too novice of an exercise. Still, it can significantly benefit balance and range of motion if done consistently.
How to Do It
- Start standing upright and position your feet hip-width apart.
- Focusing your efforts on controlled, slow movement, gently bend your knee and lift your foot until your thigh is parallel to the floor.
- Try lifting your thigh as high as possible with each marching step while maintaining balance.
- If you need support, hold on to the back of a chair until you are confident to let it go.
- Repeat for 10 marching steps on each leg. Or whatever you can manage.
5. TIGHTROPE WALKS
Balance Exercise for Seniors. This simple exercise can improve your posture, leg strength, and even core strength and balance. Also called heel-to-toe walks, it’s performed precisely how you would expect walking a tightrope.
How to Do It.
- First, to help you keep a straight line, you may want to lay a piece of 6-foot tape on the floor.
- Begin the exercise by extending your arms out to your sides. Focus your eyes on a fixed point ahead of you and begin walking in a straight line.
- With each step, align your back foot directly straight with your forefoot.
- Each time you raise your foot, pause in the raised position for three seconds.
- Take 20 to 30 steps, focusing on controlled, balanced movements.
Far too many older adults fall each year, many never recover, and some are never the same again. Balance is a use-it-or-lose-it, a skill that requires practice, to remain effective. Working on your balance goes hand in hand with strength building, which you need to prevent falls.
Important Note *
Remember that everyone is different; it is ultimately YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to find what your body responds to. So please do your due diligence before trying anything new, including getting Medical Advice to ensure your safety and peace of mind.
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