Did you know that age-related balance issues can start around mid-life? That means it’s never too soon to incorporate exercises that strengthen your stability. Liberty Resources Home Choices provides home care services and caregivers for seniors and people with disabilities. Here, we discuss the risks associated with balance problems and some of the best balance exercises for elderly people to try – with your physician’s approval, of course.
Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises?
Balance issues arise gradually for some aging adults, while others may experience a sudden onset due to an injury or illness. From dizziness or vertigo to staggering on your feet, a variety of symptoms can indicate an issue with balance. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), some of the most common causes for this type of problem include:
- Inner ear issues
- Heart disease
- Poor vision
For many seniors, balance issues arise due to the natural aging process. Your stability and coordination can weaken like muscle strength. By incorporating targeted stability moves into a regular exercise routine, some seniors can minimize their risk of falling and seriously injuring themselves.
If you think you have a balance issue, the first thing to do is consult your physician. They can diagnose the cause and recommend treatments or lifestyle changes. Otherwise, some balance exercises can help increase your strength and reduce your risk of falling.
Self-guided or assisted lifestyle support is important, and it’s never too early to make meaningful changes that will benefit your well-being as you age. If you’re ready to incorporate balance training into your routine, there are several simple movements you can do by yourself or with a partner. Some popular balance exercises include:
Designed to strengthen your core, foot taps help stabilize your spine. Repeat this exercise 15 to 20 times per leg:
- Step 1: Stand in front of a step with your feet hip-width apart.
- Step 2: Hold onto the wall or a chair, if needed.
- Step 3: Slowly raise one foot to tap the step in front of you.
- Step 4: Slowly return your foot to the floor.
Strengthening your thigh and hip muscles aids in good balance. Repeat sit-and-stand elevators as desired:
- Step 1: Sit in a sturdy chair with your feet on the floor hip-width apart.
- Step 2: With a tight core and buttocks, lean slightly forward from your hips.
- Step 3: Evenly press into your feet and slowly stand up. During this step, you can hang onto the chair for stability or stretch your arms out in front of you.
- Step 4: Reverse the move, sitting back down slowly.
Senior yoga is excellent for balance training. Do three sets of this pose:
- Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Step 2: Position one hand on your chest and the other on the back of a chair.
- Step 3: Raise your right leg, turning your foot inward to rest the sole of your foot against your left thigh.
- Step 4: Hold this position for a minimum of 30 seconds.
- Step 5: Slowly bring your leg and arm down and repeat using your other arm and leg.
This move strengthens the muscles you use to walk and jog. Repeat these steps 10 times per leg:
- Step 1: Stand tall with both hands on your hips.
- Step 2: Step your right foot forward, bending at the knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor beneath you.
- Step 3: Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds.
- Step 4: Slowly return to a standing position.
Find the Ideal Balance Exercises for You
Exercise for elderly adults involves different moves for different people. It may take a little trial and error to find specific exercises that are ideal for your fitness level, ability, and lifestyle, but a variety of options are available. Plus, physical activity of any kind can be enjoyable – and you can challenge yourself at your own pace.
With Liberty Resources Home Choices, the power of choice is at your fingertips. The values of the independent living movement are at the heart of everything we do, and our team is dedicated to your needs. If you’d like to strengthen your level of balance, we can help through our caregiving services. Our team can help ensure you’re performing any exercises recommended by your physician as often as you should and as safely as possible. Contact us today for more information about incorporating exercise assistance into a care plan or the programs we offer.