Did you know that every eleven seconds, a senior is treated in an emergency room for an injury related to a fall? It’s important for seniors to be aware of the risk that falls can pose to their quality of life. However, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your balance and avoid falls and other injuries. Let’s talk about balance exercises for seniors and how they can keep you independent and on your feet!
Balance Exercises for Seniors
As you age, your ability to maintain your balance can be affected by weakening muscles, poor vision, and other conditions. Poor balance can lead to falls and other injuries, which can threaten your health and independence. Even worse, a fear of falls can lead many seniors to avoid activities outside the home, leading to depression and isolation. Falls are something that every senior should take seriously, but not at the cost of their quality of life. Balance exercises for seniors can help your body ease the effects of age-related balance loss.
What Are Balance Exercises?
Your body performs two kinds of balancing every day: static and dynamic. Static balance refers to your body’s ability to support itself while it is at rest, and dynamic balance refers to your body’s ability to support itself while in motion. Balance exercises improve these senses of balance by strengthening core muscles related to steadiness and movement. Experts recommend that seniors perform a set routine of balance exercises at least three times a week.
How Can I Get Started Safely?
The good news is that any exercises that strengthen your core will help your balance. So if you’re doing something like strength training, you may already be doing them without realizing it! If you have not performed those types of exercises before, it’s a good idea to start simply. Work on incorporating a greater awareness of your balance into your everyday movements. Start by thinking about your posture and balance while you move. Do you typically feel steady on your feet, or do you feel like you’re at risk of losing your balance when you sit, walk, and stand? If you feel unsteady, try simple corrections like bending your knees slightly, placing your feet farther apart, and experimenting with other ways to find your balance throughout your day. Once you feel confident on your feet, you can begin to work balance exercises into your routine.
What Are the Best Balance Exercises for Seniors?
Before you start balance exercises, be sure to speak with your doctor or physical therapist, especially if you have a history of falls or conditions that can affect your balance. They can help you identify how to work on balance safely without risking further injury. Your doctor can also help you find a balance exercise routine that meets your specific needs.
As with any new exercise routine, it’s best to start slowly and see what works for you. Start with exercises that mimic movements you use throughout your day, like a sit-to-stand routine or standing and maintaining balance throughout various movements. You can ask your doctor to recommend some options, or you can look for them on the internet. A quick search for “balance exercises for seniors” will turn up plenty of exercises to try. Seniors are often best served by balance exercises geared towards fall prevention, like leg raises, simple twists, and marching in place. The important thing is to find exercises that you are comfortable doing on a consistent basis so you get the greatest possible benefit from your work. Be patient, keep working, and you’ll see the results you want!
At Springhouse Village, we know how important it is to enjoy your retirement in a lively and welcoming environment. We make it easy for our residents to be active participants in our community. Whether that means encouraging residents to join an exercise class or assisting them in starting a garden club, we strive to help our residents thrive. To learn more about the amenities and services we offer, contact Springhouse Village today.