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Healthy Aging | 03/30/21
If you’ve ever slipped on the floor, lost your balance or tripped while walking, you understand the instant panic of possibly injuring yourself. While you may be able to stop yourself from falling now, it can become more difficult as you continue to age. In fact, according to the CDC, more than one in four older adults experiences a fall every year, and one in five of those falls sustains a serious injury.
Fortunately, there are exercises that help you improve strength and balance. Below are a few senior exercises for balance and strength to help you avoid a future fall and severe injuries.
The exercises below can help improve your strength and balance, but you’ll always want to consult your healthcare professional about any concerns over loss of balance. They have the best understanding of your health history, so they can offer ideas of other balance exercises to meet your health goals.
When you’re starting out on your strength and balance journey, this exercise is a great place to start. Hold onto the back of a chair while standing. Then lift one leg while balancing on the other and hold that position for a few seconds. Lower that leg and repeat with the opposite one. Repeat the exercise as necessary, and eventually you’ll be able to do it without the assistance of the chair.
You’ll want to make sure you have a clear walking path for this exercise. Walk in a straight line, touching the toes of your back foot to the heel of your front foot, like you’re walking on a tightrope. It may be difficult to balance the first time you try this, so if you feel as though you may fall with your feet that close together, walk with them as close as you can while still feeling comfortable. Do this for 15-20 steps in one direction, and then turn around and go the other direction.
Sit in one of your dining room chairs or something similar, taking care to keep your back straight and your feet directly under your knees. Slowly straighten one leg so your foot is held out in front of you, holding it in place for a moment or two. Lower it down again and start over with the other leg. Do this for as many sets as you can, with 10-20 repetitions each.
If you want to improve your balance, there aren’t many exercises better than yoga. Not only can it help to improve your balance and stability through building physical strength, but it can also help you learn to balance your mind. Poses such as Chair Pose (Utkatasana) and Tree Pose (Vrksasana) enhance your leg and core strength, thereby improving your balance. You can find more senior-friendly yoga poses here.
In order to live a retirement full of the things you enjoy, it’s important for you to maintain your physical health. That’s why Meadow Lakes offers an array of amenities and activities to improve your wellness and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. Our award winning LivWell program provides a progressive, comprehensive approach to wellness that’s different for each resident. If better balance is something you want to develop, we’ve developed programming like “Stand Tall, Don’t Fall,” which helps you improve your strength and balance.
At Meadow Lakes, you can enjoy an all-inclusive retirement. Our team takes care of everything for you so you have more time to do what you love. Contact our team or schedule your personalized visit to see for yourself how wellness is rooted in everything we do.