Balance Exercises For Seniors
Balance exercises for seniors are important enough to your daily routine of healthy living that you should also try to have a few exercises in your repertoire that can be done from anywhere, not just in your regular area for exercising.
This will let you continue to work on improving your balance, even if you are traveling. Some of these you could even do while you were standing in waiting for someone to help you at the post office, or waiting on someone and no one would even notice that you were actually exercising.
However, you would want to make sure that there is something close by that you could use to maintain your balance and steady you in case you start to fall.
3 Effective Balance Exercises For Seniors
The first one is just a form of conscious walking where, you concentrate on your balance while you walk. This exercise, where you walk heel to toe, has you place the heel of your first foot directly in front of the end of the opposite foot every time you step forward.
Your feet are just about, but not quite, touching each other for every step that you take. If you do daily cardio exercises like walking around a local track, try alternating laps, where one lap you walk normally, and the second lap you do with your special heel to toe balance walk. This is good to do with a partner, so that you don’t slip back into normal walking by accident.
Another good exercise for improving balance as a senior to do while you are traveling simply involves the way you get in and out of a chair. We all know that as you get older, it can be more and more difficult to get yourself in and out of chairs.
But just like anything else, you can practice doing this, so that you don’t continue to have as many problems with this daily task. Practice sitting yourself down into a chair without using your hands on the armrests, but just out on your side for balance (if you lose your balance, you should fall back into the chair, so a cushioned arm chair is good for this exercise).
Once you are seated, try standing back up again without using your arms to do so. You might not be able to do this the first couple of times you try this exercise but you should improve over time.
This is a great exercise to practice when you are in a hotel, because there is often a cushioned arm chair in a hotel room, and the exercise itself doesn’t take up a lot of space. It is a simple truth that one of the keys to exercise is to make it a part of your daily routine, and traveling puts that routine at risk.
Try some of these balance exercises for seniors the next time you travel. They don’t require special equipment or a gym; they simply require you making the time out of your day to make sure that this gets done.
As a senior, it is more important than ever to keep in shape. However, these days, it is not all about losing weight or building muscle. For seniors, maintaining an excellent sense of balance is necessary to maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle. Without balance, we risk falling and breaking something or hurting our selves.
However, if you have found that your old sense of balance has been slipping in recent years, it doesn’t have to be gone forever. With some training and practice you get regain your sense of balance. For others that have not yet experienced any real balance loss, the time is now to start training in order to keep your balance skills.
4 Balance Exercise Safety Tips for Seniors
Before you begin any new exercise regime, be sure to check with your doctor. Your doctor should be able to tell you if your intended exercise plan is healthy for you when compared to your overall health and well-being. In addition, your doctor can make sure that your loss of balance is not due to another more serious illness than simply aging.
Take it slow!
Don’t try to rush through an exercise routine. Make sure that you have one balance exercise for seniors down pat before you move on to the next one. Don’t use sudden movements between motions. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to balance exercises. If you are completing a seated exercise and are switching to a standing exercise, stand up slowly as well.
Use something to steady yourself.
A simple solution for this is a chair in front of you. Not only can you use the chair during exercises from a seated position, but you can also use it for supports. If you feel quite steady, you can also limit how much of it you use to just a finger instead of a tight grip. However, having that chair there is quite an important safety step.
Keep your eyes open!
This sounds obvious, but sometimes exercise can put us in a state of relaxation that makes you want to close your eyes. However, keep your eyes open while you are exercising. This alone can help you with your balance.
Try doing the exercises with a partner the first few times. This way you can make sure that you aren’t doing any exercises that are too challenging for you at the start. A partner can give you a hand if you need it and act as a necessary spotter in case things don’t go as smoothly as you would like them to.
If it seems too hard, don’t do it!
This isn’t a contest, so don’t push it unnecessarily. Only do what you are comfortable doing. Overall, it is good to realize that safety comes first when it comes to balance exercises. Don’t try to become an expert overnight.
Take it slowly, and keep practicing!
You will find your strength coming back and before you know it you will have better balance than you can remember having in years.
Balance Exercises For Seniors – Do They Really Work?
As a senior, one of the most important things that you can do to work on improving your everyday health is to do daily balance exercises for seniors. However, if you have been doing this for a while, it can be hard to track your progress.
How do you know if what you are doing is actually working? Like a professional or amateur athlete records their data to track progress, you can use some of these same techniques to see if you have been improving your overall sense of balance. Use a simple set of metrics to record your results when doing balance exercises for seniors.
Time yourself. To do this, get yourself an easy to read stopwatch or even a kitchen timer.
When you complete your daily exercises every day, write down how long you were able to hold each exercise for, and how many sets of repetitions you were able to complete.
Don’t be alarmed if you don’t see dramatic changes immediately, you are looking to see the rate of change over time in both your timing and numbers. Also look to see if you have increased the number of daily exercises that you are doing. Doing more exercises daily can increase your overall stamina.
If you would like to see your numbers in different kinds of forms, it can be relatively easy to create a chart of your numbers to see your improvement in a visual form. Too often, we get frustrated without seeing actual results; however, you need to take a long term view on this.
Accountability Through Others
Another way to insure that you continue to improve through your balance exercises is to use others to help you stay accountable. Many local senior community centers offer exercise programs, or a list of community resources for people that are interested in exercising. Use these resources to help find yourself an exercise partner.
By making an appointment to see someone else to exercise every day (or even just a few days a week) you are more likely to actually follow through with the exercise because someone else is counting on you.
You are also able to serve as each other’s safety spotters, and can offer encouragement to each other along the way. A partner is also a good person to ask if they see improvement in your balance, and they can offer tips on how your form looks. No one likes to exercise on their own, and having a partner can make sure that you exercise even on days when you would rather not.
Continuing to keep doing your daily balance exercises for seniors is an important part of maintaining a healthy and safe personal lifestyle.
Through strengthening your muscles you can make sure that you avoid falling or tripping just because your sense of balance has started to fade. Balance improvement doesn’t happen overnight, it happens slowly over time. By keeping track of your results and having an exercise partner, you are putting yourself on the right path to success.
More Balance Exercises For Seniors: The Side Leg Raise
Balance exercises for seniors are an important part of daily, healthy living. By improving the strength of your leg and core muscles, you are working to make sure that you aren’t prone to injury and falls from balance problems.
According to the National Institute of Health, more than 300,000 Americans are treated for broken hips annually. With a large percentage of those injured being senior adults, it is important to prevent falling before it happens. Even if you have not yet started to experience balance problems, improving your balance will help you stay healthy into the future. Maintaining independence through healthy living is a positive goal for all.
While some balance exercises are only to help you become more aware of your center of gravity and help you improve your balance through small movements, other exercises help to strengthen the muscles of your lower body. One of these balance exercises for seniors is a side leg raise. Side leg raises improve the muscles on the sides of your hips and thighs.
8 Steps To Complete Side Leg Raises:
#1. As you would before beginning any exercise program, be sure to contact your doctor before beginning a balance routine.
#2. Place a chair in front of you to use as support in case you lose your balance. A tighter grip on the chair is normal for beginners, but you may find yourself relying on it less and less as you become more accustomed to the exercise.
#3. To begin, lift your right leg straight out from your body to the right side, only about six to twelve inches into the air. Remember to hold the chair in front of you with your left hand. You want to keep both of your legs straight while holding the leg in the air out to the side. For your first try, ten seconds is a good goal. Remember to keep breathing while you hold your leg out for those ten seconds. Keep your toes pointed straight ahead, don’t point them down.
#4. Slowly bring your leg back down to meet your other leg. During your entire balance exercise process you want to avoid and sudden, jerky movements. These can cause you to lose your balance or pull a muscle unintentionally.
#5. Switch legs, and lift your left leg away from your body up in to the air about six to twelve inches away from your body. You should switch your support hand to your right hand, using it to grip the chair for support. Again, hold your leg there for about ten seconds.
#6. Continue to alternate between your right and left legs until you have completed ten sets of leg raises with each leg.
#7. Rest! Resting is important for any exercise routine, and will help you keep going.
#8. Repeat the entire cycle.
By continuing to practice these balance exercises for seniors, you will slowly improve your strength and balance, working to prevent any future falls or injuries. These steps are important enough to work into your daily routine. If you won’t do them on your own, ask a friend to join you every day.
Standing Balance Exercises For Seniors
Since maintaining your balance while walking or standing is so important for seniors, completing balance exercises to strengthen those skills can be quite important as well. You want to build your balance and strength in order to prevent falling in the future.
By doing exercises on a daily basis you can improve your posture, your strength, and your balance. Always use a chair to support you while doing these standing exercises. The chair can serve to both steady you, and provide you a place to sit and rest if you need it.
One of the most basic standing exercises is to try to balance on one leg. Try it the first time for only a few seconds while you continue to hold onto the chair for support. With your hands at your side and holding on to the chair, bend your leg at the knee and lift up your foot so that it is behind you.
You don’t have to lift it very high; you are just holding it slightly in the air. Concentrate on holding the leg in the air and feel where your gravity is impacting that leg. You want to have your center of gravity over your ankles. After doing the one leg stand for a few seconds on one leg, switch and try it with the other.
Slowly work yourself up to holding the leg for a minute at a time, while still holding the chair. Once you feel comfortable, you can try standing on one leg with using less and less support from your spotter chair.
Another good starter exercise to build and strengthen balance is the staggered stance exercise. This is also a standing exercise, so you will want to use your support chair again. To complete the exercise, stand to the right of your support chair and hold on to the chair with your left hand. With your right foot, step forward and hold your position for ten seconds.
When you have finished exercising first with your right foot, then switch to the other side of the chair. Then, step forward with your second, or left, foot for ten seconds.
This is a great exercise to strengthen your ankles. Look straight ahead while you do the exercise. If you would like to make sure that you are stepping in a straight line, you can put tape down on the floor to guide you.
During all of these exercises, you want to make sure that you don’t forget to breathe. It is a common mistake when anyone exercises to start concentrating so hard that you forget to breathe normally.
Both of these exercises are good beginner exercises because other than moving your leg initially, it is not really a “moving exercise.” The strength comes from holding the pose, not from your actions during the pose.
If anything feels uncomfortable, don’t force it. This is meant to be a help to your everyday life, not something that holds you back. Soon, you’ll have both of these exercises down pat.