Have you ever lost your balance on a slippery section of the floor? Or even stumbled while walking? As we age, it may become increasingly difficult to catch our balance. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one out of four older people falls each year.
Thankfully, there are exercises and activities we can participate in that helps us gain strength and increase stability. Keep reading to find a few recommended balance exercises for seniors that may help you avoid a serious fall.
Single Leg Stand: A great beginner balance exercise, and an exercise we would recommend starting with, is the single limb stance. For this exercise, simply hold on to a chair and lift your left leg, balancing on your right leg. Hold for a few seconds and then lower your left leg back down. Switch sides and repeat the same movements – lifting your leg, holding for a few seconds and then lowering it back to the ground. Repeat as necessary. As you get stronger, perform this exercise without holding on to the chair.
Heel-Toe Walk: For this exercise, make sure you have a clear path in front of you. Walk as if you are on a tightrope with your eyes facing forward and placing one foot in front of the other, so that the heel of your front foot is touching the toes of your back foot. If you can’t get your heel and toes to touch, try to get them as close as they can be to touching. Repeat this exercise for 15 to 20 steps each way.
Yoga: Yoga was designed for balance – both physically and mentally. Physically, yoga helps you to increase stability and balance through mastering movements and building strength. One pose for balance is the Balancing Mountain, which stretches and strengthens your legs, ankles and feet. For this pose, stand with your feet hip-width apart with your arms relaxed at your sides. While maintaining this position, push your toes to the floor and lift your heels as high as possible. Put your heels back down and repeat as necessary.
These are just a few ideas of balance exercises to get you started. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns over loss of balance; they’ll have the best insight into your personal history and will be better equipped to offer balance exercises suited to fit your needs.
Springpoint offers LivWell, our signature holistic wellness program, at each of our eight continuing care retirement communities. LivWell allows you to focus on all seven dimensions of wellness, from physical wellness to emotional wellness. One of the greatest advantages of this program is that it is personalized to your goals and interests, and our team members work with you to incorporate activities that can help you achieve your goals. For example, if one of your goals is to improve balance, we may recommend you check out our Body Balance or Tai Chi classes.
In Springpoint communities, wellness is engrained in everything we do. Contact us today to learn more.