It’s unfortunate that one of the leading causes of death for the elderly and seniors is falling. As we age, our strength weakens, but our body systems change as well. Our equilibrium becomes different, affecting our center of gravity as we walk, especially downstairs or something that may cause us sudden dizziness.
Stability exercises for seniors can help prevent dangerous situations like these, as they can improve balance in the elderly while also providing them strength. Read on to learn more about the best balance exercises for seniors and keep them fun and interesting.
Balance Exercises for Seniors: Conditions That May Cause Concern
While it’s good for every person to exercise, particularly someone aging, there are some conditions to be mindful of that can affect balance. If a person has one of these conditions, then you very much want to consider proprioception exercises for the elderly:
- Vision impairment
- Medication that causes side effects (such as blurred vision or loss of balance)
- Cardiovascular problems or disease
With these conditions, seniors should perform balance exercises for seniors as often as possible to ensure they can stay strong and keep their balance.
Balance Exercises for Seniors: Tips to Find Your Balance
Before you perform any exercises to improve balance for seniors, there are tips seniors can follow to help find their center of balance, such as distributing weight evenly on both feet, being aware of their dominant leg, and trying to maintain good posture while sitting and walking. These are just small things seniors can do every day, in addition to performing balance exercises for seniors.
Balances Exercises for Seniors: Fun Balance Exercises for the Elderly
There are several balance exercises for seniors at home that can be easily done. Some of these need the help of a steady chair (not one with wheels), but other than that, no special equipment is required. Here are four balance activities for seniors that can help with both strength and balance:
- Walking Heel to Toe. This may sound too simple, but walking from heel to toe can strengthen legs and improve balance. Walk with your dominant foot leading, and have the toe of the other foot touch the heel of this foot as you walk. Walk this way for 20 steps. If you are already struggling with balance issues, place a piece of masking tape on the floor (or outside on an even surface) and have someone with you to make sure you don’t lose your balance.
- Single-limb Stance. You’ll need a steady chair for this one. Hold onto the back of it, and lift one foot, and balance on the other foot. Hold this as long as you can, and then switch feet. The goal is to hold the pose for one minute, but if you can’t do that at first, work your way up to it – some balance exercises for seniors will take a little longer to work up to, so it’s okay!
- Back Leg Raises. This is a balance exercise for seniors similar to the single-limb stance, so that you can do it immediately afterward. Using the same chair and holding onto it the same way, lean forward and raise one leg backward without bending the other knee. Hold this pose as long as you can, and then repeat with the other leg. Again, the goal is one minute.
- Wall Pushups. This is a strength training exercise. Stand at arm’s length away from a wall that has no decor on it and place your palms flat against the wall. Keep your feet planted firmly on the ground, and do 20 “pushups” against the wall. If you’re already experiencing some balance problems, you may want someone there with you when you first try this one.
Having outside physical therapy is also a good idea if someone needs a little more help when needing more dynamic balance exercises for the elderly or those with limited mobility.
For more ideas about balance exercises for seniors, or to learn more about mobility products that could be life-changing, such as stairlifts or wheelchair ramps, contact us today at Williams Lift Co. We want both caregivers and their loved ones to live their best lives.