Many things in our body stop working properly as we grow older, and it’s merely a fact of life, but there are many things that we can do to slow down or temporarily halt these issues. While may not all be as limber as we once were, we can still work to keep ourselves in good shape.
I have seen too many friends give up on maintaining their health, using old age as an excuse, but there comes the point where you have to take your body’s shape into your own hands. One of the best ways to train yourself when you get older is to ensure that you maintain your balance.
Over the course of today’s article, we are going to be taking a look at some of the best balance exercises for seniors. Of course, before we get to the tasks themselves, let’s go over some of the reasons why it is essential to perform balance exercises for senior citizens as you get older.
We will also be going over some of the reasons why people tend to lose their balance as they get older, and some of the potential issues that can occur because of lost balance. Nobody wants to fall and break something because of a momentary loss of balance, so we would recommend paying close attention.
Why Do Elderly People Have Problems With Balance?
While you may think that there is a specific reason that older people have issues with balance, the vast majority of the time, it merely has to do with aging. As we get older, it becomes harder for our body to operate at peak efficiency, and this is often reflected in our ability to stand without issue.
Though standing may seem like a simple thing for the vast majority of your life, we don’t really think about how much our body compensates for us and stabilizes us so that we can stand. Without our brain keeping our legs stable, we will find it much harder to stand up or walk around.
The main part of your body that is responsible for maintaining your balance is your inner ear. When your inner ear ages, it becomes less susceptible to the changes in orientation that make you feel like you are about to fall when you are losing your balance.
When it is harder to tell that you are teetering over, you will be more likely to fall, and this is the main reason why it is such a common occurrence for the elderly.
Eye problems can also contribute to issues with balance, as you will be less likely to see obstructions in your path or even the gradient of the ground that you are standing on. Balance is a sense that is achieved through a combination of senses; if one is compromised, your balance will be too.
Arthritis is another reason why your balance can be compromised, along with medication that makes it harder to perceive shifts in balance.
All in all, you will find that many possible conditions can make it harder to remain standing when you are older, and that is where balance exercises for older adults come into play.
Balance Exercises And Tips
Out On A Limb
The first exercise is relatively simple, and it allows you to get a feel for your center of balance before moving on to the next exercise. You will need a chair for this balance exercise, but nothing else. Start off by holding on to the chair and by balancing on a single leg.
You will want to work up to about thirty seconds per leg before reverting to the leg with which you started.
Try to gradually let go of the chair as you try to maintain your balance and attempt to stand on each leg for one minute without assistance. If you have difficulties, don’t worry about doing it for a shorter time.
This exercise is quite simple, and you will only need a chair to accomplish it. You will want to stand next to the chair and hold onto it with your non-dominant hand. Keep looking straight forward, raise your dominant leg, and point forward, right, and backward with your dominant arm.
You will want to repeat this exercise about two times for each side. There are a few benefits that can be derived from this balance exercise; primarily, it allows you to work on your balance without the support of your arms. The chair enables you something nearby to grab on to in case of a loss of balance.
Rock The Boat
Another relatively simple exercise, rock the boat allows you to work on your balance when it transfers from foot to foot, making it much easier to stay straight while walking. You will want to position yourself so that your legs are about the same length apart as the width of your shoulders.
When you are in position, you should slowly raise your left foot for about fifteen seconds and then lower it, shifting the weight to it and then lifting your right foot. You will want to go back and forth between your two feet at least two or three times, as that accomplishes the rocking motion that helps with your balance.
Using Your Non-Dominant Hand
While this may sound odd, you will find that using your other hand for everyday tasks can help improve your balance because your mind will have to focus on the action. When we use our dominant hands, it is almost as if we are operating on autopilot.
Optimize Your Walking Technique
When you walk, you should be walking from your heel to your toe. It becomes much easier to maintain your balance throughout your stride if your heel is the first part of your foot that touches the ground.
We hope that this selection of balance exercises for seniors has provided at least one good option for you. Senior balance exercise is integral to remaining healthy and reducing the likelihood of falls.