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Healthcare | November 29, 2022
Balance issues are a common concern for many people in their golden years. Our brains and muscles work together to help us maintain balance, but those same functions become harder to perform as your body grows older. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take measures to improve your stability.
A little physical activity can go a long way toward improving your balance. Doing regular balance exercises can not only help prevent falls, but also reduce the risk of dementia, high blood pressure, and other health issues.
Of course, it’s important to know what the right exercises are to help you stay balanced without overexerting yourself. Keep reading to find out which senior balance exercises are right for you.
Whether you choose to do one or all of these exercises, it’s never too late to give balance workouts a try. Each of these senior balance exercises are quick, easy, and can be done at home without any need for workout equipment. Let’s break down each exercise and how it helps you address balance problems and stand tall with ease.
Head rotations are a quick, easy exercise that helps you loosen up your neck and improve your posture. These movements also help you practice maintaining balance when your vision changes.
How to do them: Start by gently rotating your head from left to right and then up and down. These rotations should last approximately 30 seconds, although you can slow down if you start to feel dizzy. This exercise can be done sitting at first before you work your way to standing head rotations. If the dizziness doesn’t go away, take a break and try again later.
Standing foot taps is a great way to practice stability on one foot. This process also helps you strengthen your core muscles and legs, which support your spine and overall balance.
How to do them: Start by standing in front of a step with your feet hip-width apart. Start with one foot and slowly lift that leg so that you tap the top of the step in front of you. Repeat this process 15-20 times and switch to the other leg. Don’t be afraid to hold onto a cane, a wall, or something else for balance if needed – it’s better to work up to standing on your own than risk a fall.
Sit-to-stands are another great exercise to help seniors strengthen core muscles. It’s also a much easier alternative to squats or other similar workouts that are hard on people with knee and other joint problems.
How to do them: Stand in front of a chair with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly bend your knees to sit back onto the chair as steadily and gently as possible. Take a short pause and stand straight up without using your arms – you want to rely on your core and legs to stand up. Repeat this process 10 times. If you need some balance assistance, use a wall or something else to guide you up and down until you are strong enough to do this exercise on your own.
These stands also called single-leg raises, help you practice balancing on one leg while strengthening your legs and core.
How to do them: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. If you need assistance, stand near a wall or have something near you that you can hold onto while balancing. Lift one foot an inch or two off the ground and stand straight for 10-15 seconds. Put your foot down and repeat the process with your other leg until you’ve done five rounds with each foot.
Standing marches are another core-strengthening exercise that allows you to loosen up your muscles while supporting your spine.
How to do them: Once again, stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Lift one leg until your knee is as close to a 90-degree angle to the ground as you can get, pause, and slowly bring your foot back down. Repeat the process with your other leg until you perform 20 marches. Like other exercises, start with a wall or other balance assistance until you feel strong enough to do standing marches on your own.
Over-the-shoulder walks force you to maintain balance while multitasking, an important step to improving stability as you go about your day.
How to do them: Start at the end of a hallway or another clear path. Make sure nothing is in your way before looking behind you over one of your shoulders. While looking back, take five steps forward, stop, and take another five steps while looking back over your other shoulder. Reset and repeat this process five times.
Also known as heel-to-toe walks, this exercise makes you focus on walking while strengthening your legs.
How to do them: Start with your back and heels pressed against a wall. Place one foot right in front of the other so that your heel just touches your other foot’s toes. Repeat this tightrope walk 20 times.
A good exercise program is important for older adults, but it’s important to work at your own pace. Don’t be afraid to start slow and work your way up to a comfortable workout routine. Even small steps are better than none when it comes to improving your quality of life.
Whether it’s going through balance training or dealing with senior housing, it’s important to do what you can to make sure you enjoy your senior years. Trying to figure out the best senior housing option for your personal lifestyle and needs? Find out which senior living options are in your area or give us a call at 844-465-6063 to talk to one of our friendly staff members today.
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