5 Exercises for Seniors to Improve Balance

The goal of balance and gait training exercises is to improve your coordination and stability throughout your body. Balance helps you remain stable as you take part in activities like walking, jogging, or dancing. Exercise programs that improve your balance become even more important as you get older.

Exercises that improve gait and balance play an important role in an older person’s quality of life. Having good balance helps you to prevent falls and injuries. Older individuals are especially at risk for balance problems, so it’s necessary to practice balance training as you age.

Exercises to Improve Balance and Stability

These balance exercises for seniors are designed to support the natural alignment of your body. Muscles and bones weaken naturally as we age, but performing these exercises regularly can help maintain your preferred lifestyle. All these exercises can be done at home with little to no equipment necessary.

Take your time as you start these exercises. Be safe, and make sure you have something to grab onto nearby if you lose your balance. Remember to stop if you feel pain. If the pain lasts for several days or weeks, talk to your doctor or physical therapist.

1. Standing on One Leg

This is a very basic exercise for improving your balance. If you’re new to this exercise, it might help to hold onto a chair.

  1. Start from a standing position with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Extend your arms out to the sides. Then, slowly lift your right knee up.
  3. If you can, straighten your leg out in front of you. Hold this position for around 30 seconds, and then relax.

Repeat this exercise at least two or three times for each leg.

2. Flamingo Stand

This is a wonderful exercise to build your hip muscles and stabilize your core. Stand near a wall while doing this exercise to stabilize yourself.

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and touch your hands to a wall.
  2. Raise your knee to your chest as though marching. Lower it and do the same for the opposite leg.
  3. Raise the challenge by going a little faster or raising your legs a little higher.

Repeat this exercise at least 10-20 times for each leg.

3. Tightrope Walk

You can perform this exercise with any straight line you can find. A line of tape or the edge of a tile are great options for this.

  1. Find a space to walk in a straight line for several feet. .
  2. Like you’re walking a tightrope, raise your arms out to the side and start walking slowly. Be sure to keep your feet on the line as you walk. .
  3. Walk heel to toe, and count five seconds between each step.

This is a great daily exercise for balance and coordination.

4. Lunges

This is an effective exercise to retrain balance for walking. Lunges also help you strengthen your ability to move from a standing to a seated position.

  1. Stand with your legs straight and your hands on your hips.
  2. Step with either the right or left leg forward, bending at the knee. Lower yourself down until your thigh is parallel to the floor.
  3. Breathe. Hold this lunge for 30 seconds, and slowly return to the standing position. Repeat for the other leg.

Repeat this exercise at least 5-10 times for each leg.

5. Tree Pose

Also a popular yoga move, this exercise is another great way to train balance. Again if you need it, keep a chair handy.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold both hands to your chest. You can also rest one hand on a chair for extra stability.
  2. Raise your leg straight up to your hip and turn your foot inward as you do. Gently rest the bottom of your foot against the side of your other thigh.
  3. Hold this pose for around 30 seconds, or longer if you can.

Repeat this exercise at least two to three times for each leg.

Safety Considerations

While balance exercises are very important for older adults, make sure you practice them safely. Remember to have something nearby to help stabilize you, such as a chair, the wall, or even another person.

Take your time and give yourself breaks when needed. If you have concerns about starting any new physical therapy, please consult with a medical professional.

Senior man doing lungesEmpowering Seniors for Safer Mobility

Incorporating balance and gait training exercises into your routine is crucial for seniors to maintain stability and overall quality of life. These exercises can help prevent falls and injuries, which are common risks for older individuals.

Gait training exercises, coupled with our mobility aid can empower you to live an active life while reducing the risk of falls as you age. Embrace these resources, take care of your body, and enjoy the benefits of improved balance and stability for years to come.

Learn more about the NexStride mobility aid.

Petra

Petra

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