Swing the Balance – Improve Your Balance as a Senior
Many people have difficulty balancing their bodies correctly.
The reasons for this are many, poor posture, lack of exercise and poor diet are among the possible culprits. Look for ways to improve your balance as a senior. For a senior adult, this is important. Better balance means less risk of fall. Having better balancing capabilities also help you avoid an unfortunate syndrome among seniors called “fear of falling” https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/older-adults/fear-of-falling .
Fear of falling and acquiring a hard to repair fracture is a really justified fear, especially among seniors. However, it can stop people from doing what they enjoy and what is healthy. Once you stop doing things then you just continue stopping to do more things.
It is much better to strengthen the body and keep as active as possible. Then you have more chance or staying active well into the future, and staying happy. In addition to improving your balance as a senior, being active by doing weight-bearing exercises improves bone health. Healthy bones, support seniors with healthy balance.
Three Ways to Improve Your Balance
Stand on firm ground. You can do this while holding onto a chair or bar for support. With feet hip-width apart, put your weight on the left leg and raise the right leg about as high as the ankle bone. Hold for a half minute. Change where the body’s weight is resting and repeat with the other leg. Begin by doing one or two a day and build up to several times on each leg, three times a day.
Join an Exercise Class
The three big names to look out for are Tai Chi, Pilates and yoga. These are slow exercises that build balance and core muscles. Very popular among seniors, these types of exercise can literally add years to one’s life . Some report that Pilates was helpful in getting through a course of rehabilitation. Tai Chi is one of the top types of exercise for improving balance.
Walk the Line
Practice walking in a straight line, with your toe of one leg touching the heel of the other leg. Use a wall for support. We used to call it pigeon-walking, but heel-to-toe walking sounds more graceful. This exercise strengthens the inner muscles of the legs and is a good exercise for balancing. Focusing on a spot directly in front of you can help you keep your balance. The recommended number of steps is 20 in one go.
A Balancing Act?
Don’t take risks when exercising. If exercising in a class, go for a class with a certified teacher. If you are doing exercises at home, hold on to sturdy things or have a support person nearby.
Always get your doctor’s okay before beginning anything new. Another ‘always’ to check is, whether any medications you may be taking could affect balance. So then, do the exercises at a different time to when you take the medication.
Try these ways to improve your balance as a senior. Always begin gradually and build up as your balance and body gets stronger.
Photo by Bekir Dönmez on Unsplash