Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises

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Pro Tips For Building A Comprehensive Exercise Plan

Balance Exercise for Seniors

The best exercise plan is not just one you feel comfortable doing, but one you enjoy and are likely to do regularly. Work with a trainer, physical therapist or occupational therapist to create a plan thats customized to your physical abilities and preferences. Add variety and make it fun. Schedule daily walks with a friend or partner . Pair exercise with another part of your routine, such as getting up and down from your chair 10 times before you sit down to eat dinner.

Mims advises including strengthening, stretching and balance activities into your daily routine. Consider using a fitness tracker to monitor your activity levels, and some inexpensive tools like dumbbells and resistance bands.

Why Seniors Should Perform Balance Exercises

Fortunately, you can reduce your risk of falling by doing strength and balance exercises for seniors. Keep it up and youll notice your reactions are quicker, your coordination is better, and your muscles are stronger.

If you do stumble, youre more likely to recover your balance because you can react faster with increased strength. And if you do fall, youll fall better. Like the crumple zone in your car, your coordinated muscle action softens the impact, dramatically lowering your odds of serious injury.

Dynamic Balance Exercises For Seniors

In many balancing exercises you maintain stability in a fixed position. Here are two that require you to center yourself while moving.

6. Rock the Boat

Remember, your vision and balance work together. Heres a simple exercise to build that partnership. There may not seem too much to this, but it preps you for other balancing tasks.

  • Stand straight with both hands in front of you on the back of a chair. Your feet are shoulder width apart.
  • Lift one leg out to the side, as far as you can without moving your hips. Hold it for up to 10 seconds.
  • Do 5-10 reps on each side.
  • As a variation, hold the chair with just one hand. As you gain balance and strength, try it without any hands. You may not lift as far, but youll get as much work or more.

7. Tightrope Walk

This is just what it sounds like, but you dont have to walk on air. Do it standing on the floor.

  • Stand straight with your arms straight out from your sides. If you prefer, stand near a wall and use it for balance.
  • Imagine a straight line extending in front of you.
  • Dont look down! Not because its a long way down, but because balance is better when you look straight ahead.
  • Put one foot in front of the other. Either walk heel to toe or take slightly larger steps.
  • After each steps, regain your balance and hold your position for a few seconds before taking the next one.

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Upper Body Exercises For Balance And Flexibility

Shoulder Rolls

Our shoulders have a huge range of motion up, forward, back, and down, Poe notes. Most activities of daily living cause our shoulders to round towards the front of our bodies. We tend to over-correct and press our shoulders too far back. This exercise helps address that.

Stand tall, arms by your sides. Raise your shoulders toward your ears, gently shift them forward, then down and back and up toward the ears again. Complete several circles in this direction and then switch, doing the same number on both sides. Finish with your shoulder away from your ears and slightly back. Pro Tip: Stand in front of a mirror and adjust your alignment as needed.

Side Arm Lifts

Stand tall, arms resting by your sides. Lift arms out to the side to about shoulder level and rotate the arms so the palms face the ceiling. As you return the arms to your sides, rotate the arm so the palms face your thighs. With each lift to the side, reach your arms higher as your shoulder range of motion allows. If comfortable, look up to the ceiling as the hands float high to add movement for your neck. Continue for the number of repetitions comfortable for your shoulders. Pro Tip: The two sides of our body are different, Poe explains. If one arm lifts the fingertips to the ceiling and the other does not, thats okay. Honor each shoulders range of motion.

Front Arm Lifts

Exercises To Improve Balance

Mat Pilates Improves Balance and Strength in Older Adults

Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises?

Balance exercises reduce the risk of falls in seniors. Thats because balance affects every aspect of daily life, from walking to standing to reaching for shelves in the kitchen. By improving your balance, youll improve your confidence and independence.

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Simple Balance Training Exercises For Seniors

Balance is a fundamental aspect of mobility that most seniors tend to ignore, but the truth is that they can benefit from improving it. Balance training exercises increase strength and coordination, thus helping seniors to move steadily and freely. Everyone can benefit from simple balance training workouts, regardless of their age or fitness level. For instance, senior citizens use it to prevent injuries from slips and falls. This post will discuss simple workouts that seniors can improve their balance and feel more confident when walking.

Is There A Free Balance Pdf Handout

Previously, I provided an option to download a balance PDF handout for all 12 balance exercises pictured in this article. Instead, just bookmark this page and reference it for free!

Ive since expanded the Balance Exercises for Seniors handout to incorporate the entire balance program I use in my clinical practice.

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Best Flexibility Exercises For Seniors

Flexibility is important for independence, mobility and the ability to strengthen the body throughout its full range of motion. According to Mims, flexibility is critical for decreasing the energy cost of standing and walking as we get older. Stretches that target the shoulders, hips and legsbody parts that commonly contribute to balance problems and gait compensationsare key.

Begin with the following exercises:

Importance Of Balance Training For Seniors

Balance Exercise for Seniors

Why do seniors need to practice balance training? A multitude of things change as you age. Muscle tone, eyesight, and basic limb strength are just a few things that can lead to falls.

According to recent studies, one in five hip fractures in older adults leads to death within one year of the incident. Secondary infection after surgery, pneumonia, and exacerbation of underlying disorders are all reasons individuals have a higher mortality rate after a hip fracture. Of course, there are many reasons seniors should add balance training to their routine. Here are a few.

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Background Theory And Evidence:

Based on the knowledge that balance loss usually occurs in situations when attention is divided, especially when being older, and that balance control relies on the interaction of several physiological systems, we have developed a specific and progressive balance training programme with dual- and multi-task exercises for older adults.

Balance Exercises: Foot Taps

The senior person should stand near a step, probably at the bottom of a staircase or a step stool. In such a case, it helps to be near a wall or have a cane at hand. A stick-on hand can offer support when needed.

The feet should be at hip-width, and then the left leg should be lifted to tap the step or stair top. This should be done about 20 times, then switch to the other leg.

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Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises

No one wants to start feeling like their body is losing coordination or strength. Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health as an aging adult.

It can prevent or postpone many of the health issues that scan accompany aging and enhance your current lifestyle. Physical activity also helps your muscles grow stronger, helping you carry on with your daily activities and reducing your dependency on others.

Balance exercises, in particular, can help in a variety of different ways that allow you to stay mobile and strong.

Balance Exercises For Seniors: Very Simple And Easy To Accept

Pin on Health &  Fitness Over 50

Balance exercises for seniors should be a part of their daily routines to improve coordination and stability in their bodies. Balance exercises help keep the elderly upright as they do different activities such as dancing, climbing stairs, biking, or walking.

The exercises are very important as they help improve balance to a great extent as you become older. Having the best balance is great at preventing injuries. It is highly recommended for older adults because there are risks of accidents such as falls and slips.

Balance is very important in older individuals, and it can improve their quality of life greatly. With regular balance programs, seniors can move about without assistance, which gives them their freedom and dignity back.

Exercises can help with balance, and it is important to start the exercises as soon as possible. However, it is still important for the seniors to have something close by to grab onto should they lose balance during the exercise itself.

If there is pain that lasts a long time after or during the exercises, it is important to consult a doctor to get advice on the same. Exercises should help with the natural alignment and are great for a healthy lifestyle.

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How Can Balance Be Improved

We can improve the Balance through activities, including yoga and tai chi. However, balance issues also can be caused by an injury to the spinal cord or specific nerves in the legs.

These injuries can make it difficult for the individual to maintain their balance while walking.

If Balance is a problem, walking aids, such as canes or walkers, can make walking easier. These devices have a rigid, upright frame to support the individuals weight, like a wheelchair.

These walking aids allow individuals with balance issues to walk without falling over, or they may start to walk on their own.

These are some reasons why balance exercises are essential for seniors and older adults.

Exercise And Disease Prevention

Balance exercises have the same benefits as those of regular exercises. This means better health and disease prevention. This is an important benefit that should motivate people to exercise more.

When regular exercise is chosen, older individuals have a much lower risk of getting many conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

With moderate but regular exercises, the immune function in older people is improved. This is because lymph fluids are moved all through the body. This is done through the pumping action of the muscles improving, immunity to a great extent.

Even simple activities like walking can be great at preventing diseases. When the body is at the best health state, the older individuals will feel much better. This, in turn, boosts self-confidence and contentment with their life. This is one of the best ways of adding value to life and enjoying the senior years.

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The Importance Of Balance For Older Adults

Balance naturally begins to decline as we age, but its a key component of our health. Consider all of the movements you perform each day. Walking, going upstairs, shopping and running errands all require our body to perform a complex balancing act. As this critical skill declines, we must take action to preserve it.

Lack of balance can impact both our mobility and our overall quality of life. The CDC reports that approximately 36 million older adults fall each year, with as many as 32,000 of those falls resulting in death. However, taking steps to improve your balance can significantly decrease your risk of injury or death from falling.

Why Exercise Matters For Seniors

Single Best Balance Exercise for Seniors & Fall Prevention

Exercise is important for older adults because being physically active makes it easier to perform activities of daily living , including eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair and moving around the house or a neighborhood, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services . Physically active older adults are also less likely to fall, which can lead to serious injuries.

Exercise improves muscle strength and bone density as well, which is especially important for women since they lose bone density at a faster rate after menopause than men. Meanwhile, the benefits of exercise for the heart and lungs help promote overall health and offset some risks for chronic illnesses and disease.

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The Benefits Of Balance Exercises

Balance exercises can help build strength and improve posture, stability, and coordination. These benefits can potentially reduce your chances of falling or bumping into things resulting in injury. You may not bounce back quite as quickly, so preventative measures are essential.

Older adults should feel self-assured and confident in their movement patterns, so they arent anxious and fearful about falling. Balance exercises can instill that crucial confidence and control needed as you slow down later in life.

Its never too late to start focusing on your balance and committing to a new exercise plan. It can be easily accessible in the right community and be a great way to spend your days.

Better Balance Is The Foundation For An Active Life

No one wants to feel old and doddery. Daily exercise, like these balance exercises for seniors below, help aging adults feel younger and able to do the things they enjoy. A stroll around the neighborhood. Holding a grandchild in their arms. Dancing to their hearts delight. Even everyday activities like going up and down stairs or walking in the dark become easier.

In addition, balance exercises can improve cardiovascular function, cognitive ability and bone strength. All essential requirements for an active, independent life.

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Balance Exercises 1: Heel

You should stand with the heels pressed to a wall. The left foot should be placed in front of the right foot. Ensure that the left heel is touching the right toes.

You should then place the right foot in front of the left foot, ensuring that the heel touches the left toes. This should be maintained, and try doing around 20 steps. This is a great exercise that can improve balance by strengthening the legs.

Best Aerobic Exercises For Seniors

What Are Balance Retraining Exercises?

Older adults should do at least 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week, ideally spread out over several days. Moderate-intensity aerobic activity includes brisk walking, cycling, swimming, dancing and nature walks.

Here are some of the best aerobic exercises for seniors:

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Upper Body Wobbles Board Balance Training

Duration/SetsYou would complete as many sets as you can within 10 minutes, preferably 5 minutes on each task, if you are physically capable of pressing up.

RepetitionThe static task will require you to balance as long as possible and for the moving task, you should perform reps up to fatigue Rest1-2 minutes before moving onto the second taskAdditional informationThis is a more advanced intervention that should ideally be employed when some core strength and neuromuscular functions are involved. It is a great exercise for the muscles of the trunk, as well as adapting balance stabilizationInstructionsStep 1: Place the wobble board in front of you.

Step 2: Place your hands wide and equally distributed on the board, plant your toes to the ground and get into a press-up position.

Step 3: Brace the core and ensure the spine does not curve.

Step 4: If it is in your capability, you could attempt some press-ups as a moving task.

How To Improve Balance

As a Physical Therapist, Ive helped thousands of older adults improve balance with exercises, stretches, and balance-training programs.

The big question I hear is this: Can my balance improve?

The answer is a resounding yes! Your balance can improve whether youre 45, 65, or 95 years old!

If youre curious about the balance research that supports this, you can find the references at the bottom of the article. Nothing like science to back up the importance of balance exercises!

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Top 12 Balance Exercises For Seniors

In almost every balance exercise handout I give my patients, I include a variation of these exercises to improve balance. In fact, Ive put together an entire balance program, featuring over 40 exercises and a 21-day plan to improve balance. You can download the program here: 21 Days to Better Balance.

But if youre new to this, start with the common exercises for balance lve listed here. You may progress to advanced balance exercises over time.

Move More And Sit Less

Do This 1 Exercise Daily For Better Balance – Seniors Exercises | More Life Health

Older adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Keep in mind, some physical activity is better than none. Older adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity gain some health benefits. Your health benefits will also increase with the more physical activity that you do.

Older adults should follow the exercises as specified in the following options. Check out this for a quick snapshot of the recommended amount of weekly activity for adults.

Moderate-intensity aerobic activity

for 150 minutes

Muscle-strengthening activities

on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups .

Balance activities

Walking backward, standing on one leg, or using a wobble board about 3 days a week.

for 75 minutes every week

Muscle-strengthening activities

on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups .

Balance activities

Walking backward, standing on one leg, or using a wobble board about 3 days a week.

An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity

on 2 or more days a week

Muscle-strengthening activities

on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups .

Balance activities

Walking backward, standing on one leg, or using a wobble board about 3 days a week.

Intensity is how hard your body is working during physical activity. Try a few of these aerobic activities:

  • Walking or hiking
  • Some yard work, such as raking and pushing a lawn mower

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