Though many adults take it for granted, it is a very complex skill to walk and balance. Ordinarily, without any conscious thought, people just do it. Without even realizing it and not consciously exerting much effort, people navigate their environment every day using balance.
However, for aging adults and some others, it’s a struggle to balance. Some retirement age individuals experience weakness and dizziness, causing imbalance. Yet others can experience imbalance caused by postural issues if they are affected with Lewy Body Disorder, Parkinson’s Disease, and more.
Imbalance, regardless of its cause, can lead to injuries and serious falls. Many older adults, to avoid this problem, participate in balance exercises. This way, they’ll be able to build and maintain better balance through specialized “workouts”.
Studies on Balance Exercises
Studies recently done show that balance exercises can:
- Help the elderly, in the case of a fall, do so gracefully to prevent more serious injuries
- By 43%, reduce the number of falls that would lead to injuries of a serious nature
- By 37%, reduce falls that would result in injury of a minor nature
As a result of participating in balance exercises, the number of aging adults who were able to avoid breaking a bone in a fall increased by 61%.
The kind of balance exercises one can do, and the length of time for which they can do them, will depend on the individual’s flexibility, stamina, and strength. Popular among many retirement age adults are exercises associated with gentle yoga and Tai Chi.
Requiring little to no guidance or training, there are exercises that are simple and can be done at home. They are perfect for moderately active and healthy older adults.
Exercises Your Loved One Can Do
If your mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, or some other aging relative agrees, introduce them to the following balance exercises:
- Body circles: Stand up straight, arms down. In a circle, slowly sway your body – first forward, from one side to the other, to the back, and finally front again. Change directions at will.
- Clock reach: Stand in front of something you can lean on (countertop, chair, etc.). Imagine that you are in the center of a clock. Right in front of you is 12. Lift one arm and one leg so that your knee is bent. You will start at noon, move to three, then to 6 o’clock with each arm and leg. Repeat on the other side at noon, nine, and 6 o’clock.
- Eye-tracking: Hold an object in front of your face at a comfortable distance. Without moving your head, follow it with your eyes as you move it back and forth. Do the same thing up and down. This can be done with your arm out completely straight or bent.
- Knee marching: Stand, face forward, arms down. As high as you comfortably can, lift one knee. Lower back down. The same thing with the other leg, then the first, as if marching.
- Leg and arm lift: Stand. Lift one leg comfortably. Leave it elevated for at least 10 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. The same can be done with one arm, then the other. Work yourself up to a minute if possible.
- Heel-to-toe (advanced): Stand heel to toe, with one foot in front of the other. Find a line that you can walk along and walk the line. Do it without looking down at your feet.
- Balancing wand: Sit in a chair. Use some sort of pole (like an empty broomstick) for this exercise. You will place one end of it in your hand in an attempt to balance it, straight up and down.
Enjoy Socialization, Balance Exercises, and More at Discovery Village At Sarasota Bay
An extensive selection of wellness programs is part of our Discovery Village At Sarasota Bay senior living program. We take our residents’ spiritual, medical, emotional, physical, and intellectual wellness very seriously.
Here are some of the activities offered in our Dimensions Health and Fitness program:
- Spiritual gatherings
- Educational classes
There is also on-duty staff, 24/7, at Discovery Village At Sarasota Bay.
If you have further questions, feel free to contact us at 941.216.1531. If you’d like to schedule a tour, we’d love to show you around. Click here for our convenient online form.