According to a report from the CDC, an elderly adult falls every single second of every single day in the US. That is why balance exercises for senior citizens are so important.
The Importance Of Balance Exercises For Senior Citizens
Good balance is vital to prevent falls, especially for the elderly. Regular exercise paired with a healthy diet, is the best way to ensure you stay healthy for the long run. There are many different balance exercises that are designed specifically for senior citizens.
Older individuals should choose a balance exercise program that works best for their future while anticipating changes in physique. Use these exercises for more than just fall prevention. These activities can be great for getting outdoors and socializing. Many individuals choose to exercise as a form of meditation, as well. Regular exercise is undoubtedly a gateway to better physical and mental health.
So many senior citizens exercise daily as a way to prevent disease. Daily exercise can decrease the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Daily exercise has been proven to boost immune function by transferring lymph fluids throughout the entire body. Even light exercise, such as walking, can move lymph fluids to keep immunity functioning at a high level, overall.
Decrease Fall Risks
You can greatly decrease your risk of falling by performing regular balance exercises. Unfortunately, senior citizens are at a greater risk of falling and getting injured than any other age bracket. Any exercise done to decrease fall risks can also increase one’s ability to continue living independently.
Fall injuries can result in broken bones, chronic problems and a lower quality of life. Tai Chi and yoga are ideal for the elderly since they are so engaging and practical.
Benefits Of Balance Exercises
There are many benefits associated with performing balance exercises. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest benefits below.
Increase Muscle Mass
Just like younger individuals who work out to increase muscle mass, the same benefit can be applied to seniors who do regular balance exercises. Tacking on muscle mass helps to reduce any pain that could result from a fall or accident.
It’s no secret that plenty of exercise during the day can help you sleep better at night. Seniors who are battling irregular sleep patterns are often advised to exercise more. Regular exercise alerts the body to the time of the day in order to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. Going outdoors to get some sun while exercising also helps to regulate sleeping patterns.
Reduce Falling Risks
This may be the biggest benefit for senior citizens today. Avoiding any at-home falls is vital to preserving your body and health. Regular balance exercises are typically the best way to prevent any accidents.
Coordination, like balance, is often overlooked. Good coordination can help a senior in distress to roll instead of fall flat. Coordination often occurs without conscious thought or effort.
Better Cognitive Function
People who engage in regular exercise have better overall brain function than those who do not exercise. Exercise promotes the release of neurotransmitters that keep your brain sharp and healthy. Cognitive clarity can help the elderly avoid any potential dangers.
Best Balance Exercises For Seniors
Here are five of the top balance exercises for seniors to try at home.
This balance exercise strengthens your core muscles that assists in stabilizing your spine.
How to do it:
- Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart in front of a step (the bottom step of a staircase is perfect) or even a couple of books or footstool.
- When needed, hold on to a wall or a solid piece of furniture to balance you. As you get stronger, carry out the move with nothing to hold onto.
- From here, gradually raise your right or left foot (whichever you like) to tap your step in front of you, and then gradually return it to the floor.
- Carry out fifteen to twenty taps, then repeating using the opposite leg.
This balance exercise improves the mobility in your neck, which in turn aids with good balance and posture.
How to do it:
- Stand tall having your feet shoulder-width apart.
- When needed, hold on to a wall or a solid piece of furniture to balance. As you get stronger, carry out the move with nothing to hold onto.
- From here, gradually move your head from left to right then up and down at the same time keeping your body as still as you can.
- Carry this out for thirty seconds, then repeat. Should you get dizzy, pause and move your head more gradually.
- When you are still dizzy, discontinue.
This core-strengthening exercise aids in reinforcing the muscles that support your spine.
How to do it:
- Standing tall having your feet shoulder-width apart.
- When required, hold on to a wall or a solid piece of furniture to balance you. When getting stronger, carry out the move with nothing to hold onto.
- From there, raise your right or left knee until your thigh is parallel to the ground (or close to parallel as you can) while trying to keep your torso straight and trying not to lean.
- Take a small break, then gradually return your foot to the ground.
- Carry out twenty marches, changing legs with each march.
This balance exercise not only reinforces your core muscles, but is a good option to squats when you have knee issues.
How to do it:
- Standing tall having your back facing a solid chair with your feet shoulder-width separate.
- If you need to, hold on a wall or a solid piece of furniture for balance. As you get stronger, carry out the move with nothing to hold onto.
- From there, sit back and gradually lower your hips on to the chair as smoothly as you can.
- Pause, and avoiding swinging your torso, pushing through with your heels for standing.
- Carry out ten repetitions.
This is a perfect balance exercise to perform whenever you like, like when you’re waiting for your cup of joe.
How to do it:
- Standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- If you need to, hold on to the wall or a solid piece of furniture to balance. As you get stronger, carry out the move with nothing to hold onto.
- From there, raise one foot about an inch off the ground at the same time keeping your torso straight and avoiding leaning toward your planted foot.
- Hold for ten to fifteen seconds, then gradually return your foot to the ground.
- Repeat for your opposite leg.
- Carry-out five stands on each leg.
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Chaparral Winds Retirement Community is a retirement community located in Surprise, Arizona offering assisted living, independent living, and memory care services. For more information about our senior living facility contact SLS Communities or to schedule a tour, please call us today at 623-471-5086.