Balance exercises are an important factor in fall prevention.
Every year, more than one-third of senior citizens age 65 or older suffer from fall-related injuries. Some of these injuries, for example, a hip fracture, can have a serious impact on an elderly person’s life. Falling could limit the person’s activities and make it challenging for them to live independently.
Proper balance exercises paired with certain strength exercises can be great at helping prevent falls by improving the body’s ability to control and maintain position. Most balance exercises don’t require you to go to the gym, let alone leave your house. Some exercises that you can do anytime, anywhere, and that are aimed at improving your balance and lower body strength are: Standing on one foot, walking heel to toe, balance walk, back leg raises, and side leg raises.
Best Balance Exercise Practices
Standing On One Foot
- Stand on one foot behind a sturdy chair, gripping for balance.
- Hold for 10 seconds
- Repeat 10 times
- Repeat 10 times with opposite leg
- Repeat 15 times with both legs
Walking Heel to Toe
- Position heel of one foot in front of toes of other foot. Your heel and toes should be touching or almost touching
- Select a spot ahead of you, focusing on it to keep you steady as you walk
- Step forward. Place your heel just in front of your other foot.
- Repeat this for 20 steps
- Raise your arms to your sides at shoulder height
- Again, Select a spot ahead of you, and remain focused on it to keep you steady while walking
- Walk in a B-line with one foot ahead of the other
- As you walk, lift your back leg and count to 1 before stepping
- Alternate legs and repeat for 20 steps
Best Strength Exercise Practices
Back Leg Raises
- Stand behind a sturdy chair, grip for balance. Slowly breathe in
- Breathe out while slowly lifting one leg directly back without bending your knee or pointing your toes. You should not lean forward, with the leg you’re standing on slightly bent
- Hold this stance and count to one
- Breathe in while slowly lowering your leg
- Repeat this 10 to 15 times
- Repeat this 10 to 15 times with the alternate leg
- Repeat this 10 to 15 times with both legs
Side Leg Raises
- Take position behind a sturdy chair, feet slightly apart, gripping chair for balance. Slowly breathe in
- Breathe out while slowly lifting one leg out to the side. Your back should be straight, and your toes pointing forward. Slightly bend the leg you are standing on
- Remain in this position and count to one
- Inhale while you slowly lower your leg
- Repeat these steps 10 to 15 times
- Repeat these steps 10 to 15 times with the alternate leg
- Repeat these steps 10 to 15 times with both legs
Performing these exercises as directed and on a daily basis is sure to help any older person maintain balance into their golden years. Make sure to consult with your doctor before working out to discover if these exercises are a good fit for you.
This article was submitted on behalf of the Rosedale Wellness Centre in Toronto. They provide a variety of services such as Massage Therapy, Physiotherapy, Osteopathy, Rehabilitation, Chiropractic and more. They are an active wellness centre, and today, they are one of the leading providers for Toronto Chiropractic Services.