Senior Exercise. Health and Wellbeing

     

          Exercises for Seniors: Improve Your Balance

One of the frustrations of growing older is losing our sense of balance. And falls are one of the major sources of injury for seniors. Here are some ways to build a better sense of balance using simple exercises. All you’ll need is a straight-backed chair and some smooth, flat-bottomed shoes for safety as you exercise.

The Reach

Stand beside the chair, holding on to the back with your left hand. Stand on one leg, place the right hand straight forward, then straight out to side and back behind you. Repeat on the other side. Use the chair for stability.

Staggered Stance

Stand behind the chair with your feet together. Place hands at your side. Step forward with your right foot in front of your left. Hold that position for ten seconds. Alternate with your other foot.

Body Circles

Stand with your feet at shoulder width apart and hands at your side. Slowly sway in a circle without moving your feet. Breathe normally, in through your nose and out through the mouth. Move your arms out a bit if you need more support. Stop if you get dizzy.

Single Limb Balance

Place hands on the back of the chair and balance on one leg. Maintain your center of gravity over your ankles. Switch legs. Work up a minute on each foot. Later, hold on with just one hand, then one finger and finally let go of the chair as you balance.

Eye Tracking

Hold your thumb in front of your face. Track your thumb with your eyes moving right and left and without moving your head. Then move the thumb up and down and track. Then hold your thumb at arm’s length. Move  right and left, up and down tracking with your eyes as you move at the waist and turn your head.

As you practice these balancing exercises you’ll gain both strength and balance. Look at the following websites for further balance exercises and for videos to help you try them out.

Eldergym

Mayo Clinic

Livewell