Balance Exercises For Older Adults

Exercises For Older Adults To Improve Balance
Improving lower body strength will help to improve your balance, and better balance means reduced risk of falls.

A recent study has found that about a third of all elderly, 65 years of age and older, experience some type of fall each year. Even a relatively minor fall can result into potentially serious ramifications, which can lead to immobility.

Balance Exercise Benefits For Older Adults

Balance exercises can help you maintain your balance; keep you mobile and independent even in old age. All the more, they become even more important if you’re an older adult – especially because they can help you prevent falls and maintain your independence.

Nearly any activity that keeps you on your feet and moving, such as walking, can help you maintain good balance. But specific exercises designed to improve older adults’ balance are beneficial not only to retain their mobility and independence, but can also:

(i) Make Daily Activities Easier: Whether it’s making the bed or bending over to tie shoes, better balance can help elderly successfully complete an assortment of every day activities. This also includes tasks involving stretching, like reaching for items on higher shelves and hair washing.

(ii) Increase Ability To Do Other Forms Of Exercises: Once balance improves, elderly then acquire the confidence they require to enjoy other forms of exercise. They are able to go for daily walks around the block, going outside to do a little gardening or even picking up smaller grandchildren.

(iii) Prevent Falls and Injuries: A Harvard study reported that exercise regime for older adults including balance exercises reduced falls causing injuries by about 40 percent. Improved coordination can also help seniors, who do fall, cut down the risk of serious injury by naturally rolling rather than crashing to the ground when a fall goes into motion.

(iv) Burn Calories: Most balance exercises need some effort to remain stable, which involve several key muscle groups. Consequently, regular balance exercises could help burn off some calories that can control weight.

Balance Exercise Tips

Balance exercises do not need much equipment. These can be as simple as:

(i) Maintaining balance while walking between specific points (can be with assistance)

(ii) Standing on one foot, alternatively so that both foot are covered (or a variation using a chair for support)

(iii) Walking while placing pressure on the foot from heel to toe.

(iv) Lifting one foot off the floor (while standing with one foot in front of the other)

Especially Designed Exercises To Improve Balance In Older Adults

If you have severe balance problems or an orthopedic condition, get your doctor’s OK before starting balance exercises. Here is an effective combo of balance exercises especially designed for older adults, with pictures, videos and step-by-step instructions:

  1. Weight Shifts: When you’re ready to try balance exercises, begin with weight shifts:

(i) Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your weight equally distributed on both legs.

(ii) Shift your weight to your right side, then lift your left foot off the floor.

(iii) Hold the position as long as you can maintain good form, up to 30 seconds.

(iv) Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. As your balance improves, increase the number of repetitions.

Watch this video to see how to do “weight-shift” exercise:

2. Single-Leg Balance: Standing on one leg is another good balance exercise for old people:

(i) Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your weight equally distributed on both legs. Place your hands on your hips. Lift your left leg off the floor and bend it back at the knee.

(ii) Hold the position as long as you can maintain good form, up to 30 seconds.

(iii) Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. As your balance improves, increase the number of repetitions.

(iv) For added challenge, balance on one leg while standing on a pillow or other unstable surface such as foam pad.

Watch this video to see how to do “Single-Leg Balance” exercise:

3. Bicep Curls With A Dumbbell: You can also consider doing many balance exercises using weights. One such common exercise is biceps curls with a dumbbell:

(i) Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your weight equally distributed on both legs. Hold the dumbbell in your left hand with your palm facing upward. Lift your right leg off the floor and bend it back at the knee.

(ii) Hold the position as long as you can maintain good form, up to 30 seconds.

(iii) Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. As your balance improves, increase the number of repetitions.

(iv) For added challenge, balance on the leg opposite the weight or while standing on a pillow or other unstable surface like a foam pad.

4. Tai Chi: Other exercises that can help improve your balance and reduce your risk of falls are tai chi — a form of movement training.

Watch this Tai Chi Exercise Program – 8-Minute Daily Routine for Strength and Balance

video:

Useful Post: Best Balance Exercises For Seniors

Incorporate the above exercises in your daily routine and see how you improve your balancing abilities whether you are standing are moving. These balance exercises especially designed for older adults can help maintain balance; keep you mobile & independent even in old age.

Please share your views with us under the comments section below

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here