Best Exercises to Help Seniors Maintain Their Balance
For those who have yet to reach their golden years, balance is something that is often taken for granted. However, for seniors having good balance is something that often fades over the years. It is possible to reverse the course with exercises to help seniors restore their balance and confidence.
- Reduces risk of falling
- Becomes easier to walk
- Going up and down stairs is less of an issue
- Assists in performing daily tasks
Changes to the body as we age which includes losing muscle strength, vision, and cognitive abilities all combine to affect balance. The changes to balance actually start around the age of 25 but become far more noticeable for seniors. What follows are exercises to help seniors restore their balance, so they can walk and perform tasks with more confidence.
Five Balance Exercises
What follows are five effective exercises to help seniors improve their sense of balance. The exercises combine muscle building with confidence boosting to help seniors maintain their balance when performing tasks.
Back Leg Raises: Hold onto the back of a chair or other sturdy furniture. Lift one leg behind you without bending the knee or pointing the toes. Hold for up to 10 seconds, set it back down, then repeat with the other leg. From 5 to 10 reps is recommended.
Balance Walk: Hold arms outward to the side at the height of the shoulders. Focus your eyes on a point in front of you. Walk toward that point while holding your arms and head steady for 20 steps. Walk heel to toe until you reach the end.
Eye Tracking: At eye level, hold your thumb about one foot in front of your nose. Move your thumb slowly from side to side without moving your head or other part of the body. Move your thumb up and down and keep your eyes on it without moving your head or other part of the body. Repeat 5 to 10 times each.
Side Leg Raises: Same as back leg raises, except you hold the leg out to the side as high as comfortable. Hold for up to 10 seconds, set the leg back down, and repeat with the other leg. Do so for 5 to 10 reps.
Standing on One Leg: With the feet together, lift one foot off the floor and bend the knee. Hold for up to five seconds, then put the foot back down. Repeat over 10 reps and then do so with the other leg. Once five seconds becomes easy, increase the length of time standing on one leg up to 15 seconds.
The exercises themselves are fairly simple and can be adjusted depending on the health of the individual. Over time, you can add different exercises such as the following:
- Chair Aerobics
- Strength Training
By engaging in balance exercises to help seniors, the result is that it improves the quality of life. Seniors can now walk and perform tasks to a greater degree thanks to having better balance.