Balance Exercises For Elderly
Balance exercises for elderly and seniors can greatly reduce the risk of falling at home. These exercises should focus on building up the strength and endurance of especially your lower body including your ankles and hips.
Below I have made a great balance exercises for elderly video that is fun and easy to do. All you need is a chair, comfortable loose fitting clothing, and a pair of smooth bottom shoes to wear so you won’t catch your feet. Read on then give it a try.
Working on your balance can be fun and playful. Just see a show by a traveling circus act and you will see just how much we can improve our balance.
Remember that to have good balance we must keep our center of gravity over our base of support which is usually our ankles. When we are walking we are working on and improving our dynamic balance or “moving” balance.
You can select a moving balance exercise below to work on this skill. When we are still, say standing on one leg, we are working on improving our static or “standing” balance. In the balance exercises for elderly below we are using the balancing wand.
This can be anything you can find around the house that is long and light. An umbrella, baseball bat, cane, wooden dowel or even a long wooden spoon. Try this balance exercise below and see how much better you can become!
Purpose of this exercise
Improve eye hand coordination.
Hold a wand in your dominant hand.
Focus at the top of the wand and begin balancing.
Breathe normally, in through the nose and out through the mouth.
It is safest to try this sitting down in an armless chair. You can use a yardstick, cane or umbrella. Don’t get carried away and lean out too far from your chair.
Take it up a notch
Try balancing with your non-dominant hand. Try balancing on the back of your hand. Try balancing with both hands together.
How to do Balancing Wand
More Balance Exercises
FIRST: Make sure to sign up for my Eldergym® Senior Fitness Newsletter to make the most of these exercises and receive my free 4 week exercise program!
- A great place to begin is with the simplest standing balance exercise. Hold on to a chair and balance on one leg.
- This is a great place to begin to feel your center of gravity over your ankles. This is your goal, maintaining your center over your ankles.
- Try a few seconds balancing on each foot. Work up to a minute if you can. Then begin to hold on with one hand, then one finger and finally try to let go completely.
2. Eye tracking
- Move on to the other exercises with static standing exercises as you gain confidence including this exercise which targets your vision and vestibular system.
- This exercise can sometimes make you dizzy. If this happens, stop the exercise. Try it again with smaller head movements next time.
- Gradually you will learn to do it correctly.
3. Clock reach
- Make sure to hold on to a chair when attempting this exercise to prevent falls in the elderly. Don’t reach back too far if you have pain in your shoulder.
- (Use your one pound wrist weight here to increase your workout.)
- Also hold on to a chair when trying this exercise for elderly balance problems. Let go of the chair for a few seconds at a time if you feel comfortable.
- Look up from your feet when balancing and pick a spot at eye level in front of you to improve falls in elderly. Lift your chest and bring your shoulders back.
- Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth
- This is a fun exercise and easy to do. Use a cane, broom or even an umbrella. Don’t have too much fun with these balance exercises for elderly!
- Try this one next to a counter so you can hold on when performing knee marching. This is also a great cardio exercise and for leg muscle weakness.
8. Body circles
- This exercise for improving balance can be a little tricky. Keep a chair nearby if you are uncomfortable without one. Make sure your knees and hips are kept straight when you circle.
9. Heel to toe
- The moving exercises are the most difficult. Only try this balance exercise when you have become good at the preceding exercises.
- (If you have masking or painters tape, place an 8 to 12 foot piece in a straight line on the carpet or floor. This will allow you to maintain a straighter line when performing the walking exercises.)
- Seniors who dance will be more familiar with these balance exercises. Try it in your kitchen holding on to the counter.
- Walk several steps in one direction, turn around and walk back. Continue for several minutes. Gradually hold on less and less until you can take a few steps without holding on.
- It may take a while, but keep practicing…you’ll get it sooner or later!
- This series of stepping exercises are very challenging. You may have a stable family member demonstrate these for you first.
12. Dynamic walking
- Try these only when you feel confident and have a helper in the home.
- Give them a try when you are stronger and more sure of yourself. These exercises are great to do with someone else.
- Holding hands with a stable family member will make these exercises easier and safer. (This is where you may use your pad of paper or a small book when walking.)
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