Exercises That Help Seniors Improve Their Balance
Having good balance is critical to controlling and maintaining your body’s position and staying independent. For example, good balance makes it easier to get up out of a chair, keeps you from staggering or tripping, and allows you to bend over without falling. Unfortunately, balance problems are one of the most common reasons for falls and a leading cause of injury and death among seniors.
As a senior, good balance is critical to carrying out daily activities and maintaining your independence. Caused by various factors, balance issues are a frequent reason for older adults to consult a doctor, but some exercises will improve your balance and give you more confidence when walking or moving.
One of the easiest exercises for improving balance is a single-leg stand:
- Stand behind or beside a solid, steady chair with your feet hip-width apart and your weight evenly distributed.
- Move your weight to one foot, raise the other foot a few inches off the ground and maintain the stance for as long as possible while maintaining a good form.
- Return to your starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.
Do several repetitions and start by holding the position for 30 seconds and working up to a minute. As your balance improves, you can add difficulty by bending your leg at the knee and holding up or stretching out your foot as far as possible without touching the floor.
Leg Stand and Arm Reach
This exercise essentially adds another element to the leg stand. Holding a chair with your right hand, lift your left foot off the ground and extend your left arm in front of you. Next, count to ten and rotate your arm, so it extends to the side. Hold it for a ten count, then rotate your arm as far behind you as possible. Repeat the exercise twice on each side.
Walking Heel to Toe
Walking heel to toe is an excellent way to improve balance, increase leg strength, and keep you from falling. Start by placing the heel of your right foot against the toes of the left. Next, bring your left foot forward and put it in front of your right, shifting your weight from your heel to your toes. Repeat the process, taking 20 steps forward and then 20 steps back.
We always recommend checking with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen. Contact us today to get started!