Best Balance Exercises For Seniors

When you are young, your body reacts quickly if by any chance you get off balance. Your muscles kick in to stabilize you so that you don’t fall down. But as we age, we start losing balance as a natural phenomenon. The weakening muscles can throw off your balance more often. Losing your balance is a part of life. It happens all the time.

Every year, about one-third of people age 65 or older fall. Falls and fall-related injuries, such as hip fracture, can have a grave impact on an older person’s day-to-day activities. If we fall, it could limit our activities and moreover make it impossible for us to live independently.

Balance exercises, together with certain strength exercises, can help in improving balance for seniors. Thus, they improve their ability to control and maintain their body’s position, whether they are moving or still.

Exercises To Improve Balance In Seniors

Today, I am sharing with you easy balance exercises for seniors. These exercises help to strengthen muscles in your hips, knees, and ankles. So, they can thwart the negative effects of aging on balance. Moreover, they will strengthen the muscles that keep you balanced. That way you can catch yourself if you fall.

Here are top exercises for seniors to improve balance, which can strengthen your lower body muscles and foundation to avoid fall in old age:

  1. Heel-To-Toe Walk:

(i) Choose a spot directly in front of you and focus on it to keep you steady as you walk.

(ii) Step forward with one foot and position its heel just in front of the toes of the other foot. Your heel and toes should touch or almost touch.

(iii) Repeat for 20 steps.

TIP: If you are unsteady on your feet, try doing this exercise near a wall so you can steady yourself if you need to.

Watch a video how to do a “Heel-To-Toe Walk”?

2. Stand On One Foot:

(i) Hold onto a sturdy chair for support.

(ii) Lift your left foot off the ground with your knee bent. Hold position for up to 10 seconds.

(iii) Bring the left foot back down.

(iv) Lift your right foot off the ground with your knee bent. Hold for up to 10 seconds.

(v) Repeat 10 to 15 times with each leg.

  1. Weight Shift:

(i) Stand with your legs hip-width apart and your feet flat on the floor.

(ii) Shift your weight to your left side. Lift your right foot about a foot off the floor.

(iii) Hold for 10 seconds.

(iv) Lower your right foot.

(v) Shift your weight to your right side. Lift your left foot about a foot off the floor.

(vi) Hold for 10 seconds.

(vii) Lower your left foot.

(viii) Repeat 10 times on each side.

Watch a video how to do a “Weight Shift”?

  1. Leg Raise Walk:

(i) Stand with your arms out to the sides at shoulder height.

(ii) Stare at a fixed point in front of you to maintain your balance.

(iii) Step forward with your left leg, bending it at the knee.

(iv) Hold your left leg in the air for a second before bringing it down in front of you.

(v) Step forward with your right leg, bending it at the knee.

(vi) Hold your right leg in the air for a second before bringing it down in front of you.

(vii) Repeat 10 to 15 times on each side.

  1. Side Leg Raise: Strengthen your hips, thighs, and buttocks with side leg raises.

(i) Stand behind a sturdy chair with feet slightly apart. Hold onto the chair for balance.

(ii) Slowly lift one leg out to the side. Keep your back straight and your toes facing forward. The leg you are standing on should be slightly bent.

(iii) Hold position for 1 second.

(iv) Slowly lower your leg.

(v) Repeat 10 to 15 times.

(vi) Repeat 10 to 15 times with other leg.

(vii) Repeat 10 to 15 more times with each leg.

Watch a video how to do “Side Leg Raise”?

  1. Back Leg Raise: Strengthen your buttocks and lower back with back leg raises.

(i) Stand behind a sturdy chair, with feet slightly apart. Hold onto the chair for balance.

(ii) Slowly lift one leg straight back without bending your knee, with your toes facing down toward the floor. Try not to lean forward. The leg you are standing on should be slightly bent.

(iii) Hold position for 1 second.

(iv) Slowly lower your leg.

(v) Repeat 10 to 15 times.

(vi) Repeat 10 to 15 times with other leg.

(vii) Repeat 10 to 15 more times with each leg.

Watch a video how to do “Back Leg Raise”?

  1. Heel Raise:

(i) Stand behind a sturdy chair, with feet slightly apart. Hold onto the chair for balance.

(ii) Rise up as high as you can onto your toes.

(iii) Hold for 1 second.

(iv) Slowly lower both feet to the ground.

(v) Repeat 10 to 15 times.

  1. Chair Stand:

(i) Sit near the front of a chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.

(ii) Put your arms out straight in front of you.

(iii) Slowly lean forward and stand up.

(iv) Sit back down.

(v) Repeat 10 to 15 times.

9. Tightrope/Balance walk: Improve your balance with the balance walk.

(i) Hold your arms straight out from your sides, parallel to the floor at shoulder height.

(ii) To help keep you steady as you walk ahead and maintain balance, focus on a spot ahead of you in the distance.

(iii) Start walking in a straight line with one foot in front of the other. Pause for a second or two each time you lift your foot off the ground.

(iv) Take 15 to 20 steps forward this way.

Useful Related Post: How To Remain Fit After 60

  1. Balance With Closed Eyes:

(i) Do this exercise with a chair, table, or wall next to you for support.

(ii) Close your eyes.

(iii) Lift your left knee until your upper and lower leg are at a right angle. Hold for 10 seconds.

(iv) Repeat on the right side.

Watch a video how to do “Balance With Closed Eyes”?

Useful Related Post: Exercising Over 60

Tips:

(i) You can do balance exercises almost anytime, anywhere, and as often as you like, as long as you have something sturdy nearby to hold on to if you become unsteady.

(ii) In the beginning, using a chair or the wall for support will help you work on your balance safely.

(iii) Modify the above exercises as you progress. This way you can improve your balance even more. For example, start by holding on to a sturdy chair for support. To challenge yourself, try holding on to the chair with only one hand; then with time, you can try holding on with only one finger, then no hands. If you are steady on your feet, try doing the exercise with your eyes closed.

(iv) As you get stronger and more comfortable with these exercises, add more repetitions.

(v) Balance exercises should never be painful. If you feel pain, or you have any shortness of breath or dizziness, stop and check with your doctor

(vi) Balance exercises overlap with the lower body strength exercises, which also can improve your balance.

Are you doing any exercise to improve and maintain your body balance in old age? If not yet, we highly recommend that you include the above exercises in your routine to remain fit and maintain a strong foundation to prevent falls.

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