As people grow older, the fear of falling becomes more prevalent. With each fall, there lies a greater chance of serious injury. One bad fall can be very detrimental to seniors, which is why it is important for them to practice balance exercises. By balance training, seniors can depend less on other people and objects, like a walker, for stability. Recommended balance exercises vary among people of different ages. The exercises suggested for a senior highly differ from that of a young adult. One balance exercise tool that is recommended for seniors is a balance pad. Below we list some basic exercises seniors can practice with a balance pad aid:
Marching in Place
First you want to start your balance training with a little warm up. Marching in place is a low impact cardio exercise that warms up the muscles and is a great way to get your heart rate up without putting a lot of strain on your joints. To begin, start by standing on the balance pad with your feet close together. Then start marching by lifting one foot at a time as high as you can. Try moving your arms at the same time keeping them bent by your sides at 90-degree angles. This will keep your momentum and balance. Repeat this exercise for 30-60 seconds or else instructed by your therapist.
Step-ups are great for strengthening your leg muscles and lower body in general. To begin, stand on the floor with the balance pad on the floor in front of you. Then, carefully step onto the pad and bring the other foot up to the foot you used for the initial step. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds to maintain balance and then step back down. Repeat this exercise as many times as desired or else instructed by your therapist.
Single Leg Balance
Single Leg Balance is a simple, yet very effective exercise for improving balance. To begin, start by standing on the balance pad with your feet close together. Then, extend your arms out to the side for balance and slowly lift one leg by bending at the knee. Try to raise your leg so that your knee comes to hip level and is parallel to the floor (or as high as you can). Hold this position for as long as you can, or up to 20 seconds, and then return leg to the pad. Switch and repeat on the other leg. Repeat this exercise 5-10 times on each side desired or else instructed by your therapist.
These basic balance training exercises are great for seniors with limited mobility. They can help increase balance and strengthen the lower body. All you need is a balance pad as you can do these exercises anywhere. Check with your therapist first before performing any of these exercises.
For more balance exercises for seniors, click here.
Article written by William Graves.