Read on to find 14 exercises seniors can do to improve their balance.
What are the best exercises to improve balance?
Top Balance Exercises for Older Adults
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Long-term medical condition that affects the nervous system can have an impact on balance , too. Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis are just a few. In addition, arthritis, heart problems, and certain medications seniors take for chronic illnesses can all contribute to unsteadiness.
Or, stand up from a seated position without using your hands. Or try walking in a line, heel to toe, for a short distance. You can also try tai chi — a form of movement training that may improve balance and stability and reduce the incidence of falls.
These exercises can help you or a loved one to regain and maintain their balance : Standing on One Leg. Stand and raise one leg with your knee bent at a 45-degree angle. Walking Heel-to-Toe. Side Stepping. Unassisted Standing. Tai Chi. Pump Your Ankles When You Get Out of Bed.
Leg curl: Stand behind a chair, holding onto the back for support. Place your weight on one leg , then lift the opposite knee, bending it as far as you can, and hold for three seconds. Slowly lower and switch sides. This exercise helps strengthen the hamstring muscles and improve your balance and posture.
Vitamin D may improve muscle strength and function, as well as balance due to the improved strength.
Diabetes and atherosclerosis are the main causes of poor circulation in the body, but are also associated with smoking, living an inactive lifestyle, or having high blood pressure or cholesterol. To reduce lower extremity weakness , elevate your legs while your sitting or laying down to increase your bodies circulation.
Exercises Seniors Should Avoid Squats with dumbbells or weights. Bench press. Leg press . Long-distance running. Abdominal crunches . Upright row. Deadlift . High-intensity interval training.
Walking helps build lower-body strength, an important element of good balance . Walking is safe exercise for most people and, in addition to improving balance , counts toward your aerobic activity goals.
There’s no limit to how much balance training you can do safely — you can do it every day if you want, Laskowski said. A 2015 review study found that doing three to six balance training sessions per week, with four balance exercises per training session, for 11 to 12 weeks was effective in improving people’s balance .
Balance problems are sometimes corrected by addressing the underlying health condition. They may be treated with: medication. surgery.
Loss of balance or unsteadiness Losing your balance while walking, or feeling imbalanced, can result from: Vestibular problems. Abnormalities in your inner ear can cause a sensation of a floating or heavy head and unsteadiness in the dark. Nerve damage to your legs (peripheral neuropathy).
Most adults don’t think about their balance until they fall. The fact is, balance declines begin somewhere between 40 to 50 years of age . The National Institute of Health reports that one in three people over 65 will experience a fall each year.
This approach involves the following: Rest. Take a break and rest your legs . Ice. You can ice your legs or soak them in ice water for 20 minutes at a time. Compression. Wrap your legs in a compression bandage to reduce swelling. Elevation. Keep your legs raised with some pillows to reduce any swelling or discomfort.
This article focuses on conditions that cause a true loss of strength in the leg muscles. Among the most common causes for leg weakness is sciatica, problems with the spinal cord that lead to pinching or compression of the nerves as they exit the spinal cord through the holes between the vertebrae of the backbone.
Leg exercises to improve flexibility and strength Aerobic exercise. Walking , stationary cycling and water aerobics are good low-impact options to improve blood flow and leg strength. Heel raises . Calf stretch. Hamstring stretch. Tandem balance exercise .