9 Balance Exercises for Seniors

9 Balance Exercises For Seniors 

Falls are one of the main causes of injury and death among senior citizens in North America. Seniors can boost their balance and strength by exercising, allowing them to walk taller and more confidently. Balancing exercises are fundamentally a healthy process that any senior can start working on to improve their lifestyle.

Benefits of Balance Exercises For Seniors

Along with endurance and flexibility, balance exercises are one of the primary forms of exercise. Balance exercises bring many benefits, as they have been shown to minimize the risk of falling and the risk of injury from falling.

The Best At-Home Balance Exercises For Seniors

The human body relies on signals from various senses to keep us balanced and avoid falling and injuries. Our eyes help us determine whether we need to pick up our feet or step in one direction or the other. Canals in our ears help the brain determine our location, such as whether we are standing or lying down. These canals also assist us in choosing our position concerning gravity.

Our muscles and joints also help us maintain our equilibrium during the day, as they work to hold us upright and in good alignment by changing and responding to various movements.

Seniors may experience poor balance if any of these systems are malfunctioning. For example, if an elder has hip joint pain, they may compensate for it by leaning forward or backward, throwing the natural equilibrium off, making it more likely to fall.

Fortunately, there are a few basic balance exercises for seniors that can help your loved ones keep their balance and strengthen it. Here are nine balance exercises for seniors:

Exercise #1: Single Limb Stance

For seniors, it's best to start with a simple balance exercise. Here's how it's done: Keep on to the back of a stable, sturdy chair (not one with wheels), and raise your right foot and keep your balance on your left—switch feet after holding the spot for as long as you can. The goal of the whole exercise is to be able to stand.

Exercise #2: Single Limb Stance With Arm

This senior balance exercise increases physical coordination. Here's how it's done: Stand next to a chair with your feet together and arms by your sides. Lift your left hand to the side of your head, and after that, slowly lift the left foot off the ground. For ten seconds, stay in that spot. Carry out the same procedure on the other hand.

Exercise #3: Wall Pushups

This strength training exercise for seniors can be done wherever there is a wall. Here’s how it's done: Place your arm at arm's length in front of a wall with no paintings, decorations, windows, or doors. Lean forward slightly and position your palms flat against the wall at shoulder height and width. As you slowly move your body closer to the wall, keep your feet planted. Push yourself back gently until your arms are entirely straight. Make a total of twenty.

Exercise #4: Standing Marches

Marching is a perfect way for seniors to maintain their balance. This exercise should be done in front of a counter, as seniors need to hang onto something. Here’s how it’s done: Raise your right knee as high as you can when standing straight. Raise the left leg first, then lower it. Legs should be lifted and lowered 20 times.

Exercise #5: Sit-To-Stands

Here’s how it’s done:

Place hands on your knees and press down with your hands and feet at the same time.
Stand tall for a count of three while keeping your tummy in, then force your bottom out, hands back on your knees, and slowly sit down.
Repeat the exercise three to five times.

Exercise #6: Over-The-Shoulder Walks

Here’s how it’s done:

At one end of a room or a hallway, stand erect with your feet hip-width apart.
Keep on to the wall for support if necessary.
Perform the move without holding on to something as you gain momentum.

Look backward over one shoulder from here. Take four or five steps forward and maintain this gaze. Take four or five more moves forward by looking over the other shoulder. On each hand, do five repetitions.

Exercise #7: Tightrope Walk

The tightrope walk is a simple exercise that strengthens core strength, balance, and posture.

This balance exercise requires seniors to keep their arms straight out from their sides, parallel to the floor, much like a tightrope walker in a circus. Here’s how it’s done: Walk in a straight line with your arms outstretched, pausing for one or two seconds each time your back leg lifts off the ground. Take 15 to 20 steps in this direction. To keep your balance when walking, keep your head straight and look at a fixed spot in front of you.

Exercise #8: Rock The Boat

Here’s how it’s done:

Start by putting your feet hip-width apart.
Check to see if each foot is pushing into the ground with the same amount of force—your weight would be uniformly distributed over both legs as a result of this.
Slowly move your weight to one knee, lifting the opposite foot off the ground a few inches, with your shoulders back and your head level. 

Keep the leg up as long as possible, but no more than 30 seconds. After that, slowly shift your weight back to both feet and repeat the process on the other foot. Initially, aim to replicate this procedure five times on each hand, and as the balance and strength develop, increase the number of repetitions.

Exercise #9: Heel-Toe Walk

How is walking an activity for improving balance? This exercise strengthens the muscles, allowing seniors to walk without falling. Here’s how the heel-toe walk exercise works:

Place your right foot in front of your left foot, with the heel of your right foot touching the tops of your left foot's toes.
Place your weight on your heel as you move your left foot in front of your right.
Move your weight to your toes after that.
With your left foot, repeat the move.
Take 20 steps in this direction.

Right At Home helps seniors and their families to improve their lifestyle. If you want answers regarding balancing exercises for seniors or want to hire a caregiver that helps your family take care of your loved one regularly, today!

Bruce Gropper
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