Medically reviewed by Gregory Minnis, DPT, Physical therapy — written by Emily Cronkleton on may 11, 2020

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You are watching: Why should senior citizens perform balance exercises

An exercise routine is essential at every times of life, however especially together you age. Ramping up your workouts is essential in your senior years, together physical activity can improve your flexibility and reduce the hazard of some health conditions.

Being mobile, strong, and also steady on your feet can help you stay independent, i beg your pardon can boost your confidence and well-being as you acquire older.

Along v chronic illness, the following conditions may reason balance concerns:

arthritis migraine cardiovascular disease vision special needs medication side effects

Read top top to discover a couple of simple balance exercises that are suitable for seniors.

Here room a few tips to aid you acquire started:

Determine which leg is your dominant leg. Begin each exercise with your nondominant side so the the various other side will be easier. Maintain an excellent posture and form while she holding the position.Focus your gaze top top a fixed allude straight ahead to maintain your balance.If you have comes to with her balance in stand positions, shot placing your feet a little bit aside from that apart. Bend her knees slightly. This prevents your knees from hyperextending, and also it makes you more stable.Distribute her weight evenly between both feet. An alert if you tend to put much more weight on one foot or if her weight move forward or backward.As her balance improves, you deserve to experiment by closing one eye in ~ a time, gazing up in ~ the ceiling, or trying various arm positions.

You can do these exercises while wearing pair of shoes or barefoot. Pair of shoes may offer you much more grip and also stability, while being barefoot can assist strengthen the muscles the stabilize her feet.

Use a yoga mat because that padding and to mitigate your chance of slipping. If possible, find someone who can supervise friend and provide support.

Modify the poses as lot as you need. End time, you’ll increase your balance and also be may be to relocate onto more challenging variations and exercises.

Simple balance exercises

These exercises are obtainable to all levels.

1. Absent the watercraft Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Lift your arms and extend them out to the sides. Lift your left foot turn off the floor and bend her knee to bring your heel toward your bottom. Organize this position for up to 30 seconds. Then perform the the contrary side. Execute each next 3 times. 2. Load shifts Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Change your weight onto your appropriate foot.Raise your left foot. Hold this place for approximately 30 seconds. Then perform the the opposite side. Carry out each side 3 times.

Core practice

3. Tightrope to walk

This straightforward exercise enhances balance, posture, and core strength.

Lift your arms and also extend them the end to the sides. Walk in a straight line while concentrating your rigid on a fixed allude in the distance. Each time you raise her foot, pause v your foot in this raised position for 2 come 3 seconds. Take it 20 to 30 steps. 4. Flamingo stand shift your load onto your ideal foot. Lift her left foot and also extend your leg forward. Hold this place for 10 come 15 seconds. Increase the an obstacle by reaching your hands toward your expanded foot. Return to the beginning position and also shake out your legs. Repeat 3 times. Then carry out the the opposite side.

Posture exercises

5. Earlier leg raises

This practice strengthens her low ago and glutes, which helps support an excellent posture.

Place your hands ~ above a wall surface or the earlier of a chair. Shift your weight onto your best foot. Progressively lift her left leg earlier and up as high together you can. Host this position for 5 seconds. Return to the starting position. Perform 10 repetitions.Then do the opposite side.

Balance and strength practice

6. Tree attitude

During this exercise, stop placing her foot on her knee.

From standing, shift your load onto your best foot. Position your left foot to the side through your heel lifted, or location the single of your foot against your ankle, shin, or thigh. Place your hands in any kind of comfortable position. Hold for up to 1 minute. Then carry out the the opposite side.
7. Heel-to-toe to walk

This practice strengthens your legs and improves balance.

Stand through your heels pressing into a wall. Ar your left foot in front of your right foot.Touch your left heel to your ideal toes. Then ar your appropriate foot in front of your ideal foot.Touch your ideal heel to your left toes. Continue for 20 steps.

With a balance board

You’ll require a balance plank for the following two exercises.

Shop because that balance boards online.

8. Forward and backward tilt Stand with your feet on the outer edges of the balance board. Change your load forward until the former of the board touches the floor. Host this place for a few seconds. Then change your weight backward till the back of the plank touches the floor. Host this position for a couple of seconds. Usage slow, controlled movements to continue tilting ago and forth because that 1 minute. 9. Solitary foot balance Stand through your best foot in the center of the board. Raise her left foot and also raise your knee together high as you can. Hold this place for approximately 30 seconds. Then execute the the contrary side. Carry out each next 2 to 3 times.

With a walker

10. MarchingStand v both hand on your walker. Lift her left knee together high together you can. Reduced it and also then lift your best knee. Alternating between sides for a total of 20 repetitions. 11. Heel-toe raises Stand v both hand on your walker. Raise both of your heels and also balance ~ above the balls of your feet for 3 seconds.Then transition the weight onto your heels and raise her toes. Carry out 10 come 20 repetitions.

Balance practice can aid build strength and also improve posture, stability, and coordination. These benefits have the right to reduce your possibility of falling or bumping into things and also causing an injury. You may not bounce back as easily from one injury if you do have a fall, therefore it’s ideal to take precautionary measures.

It’s necessary that older adults feel self-assured in their activity patterns therefore they’re no anxious or fearful about falling.

A 2016 study found that older adults that did balance exercises because that 6 weeks amplified their balance control and also gained confidence. The exercises likewise helped enhance coordination, foot strength, and also ankle mobility.

Research native 2019 points to the efficiency of balance and coordination practice in improving the overall quality that life in larger adults. Along with the physical services such as amplified stability, balance practice may assist improve mental functioning, consisting of memory and also spatial cognition.

It’s recommended that older adults execute at the very least two to three sessions the exercises every week.

Having a balance regime can bring a wide range of services to seniors, but you still need to method it v caution. To stop falls, usage a chair or wall for extra support. Begin with the easiest exercises and gradually relocate on come those the are an ext challenging.

Sit down and also take a break as soon as needed. Drink plenty of water and also eat before you execute these exercises. This will help you feel an ext grounded, particularly if you have any concerns with feeling dizzy or lightheaded.

If you’re new to fitness or have any concerns v balance, speak to your doctor before starting a brand-new exercise program.

You should likewise talk to your medical professional if you have any kind of medical conditions or have had actually a hit or love attack.

Talk to a physical therapist if you’d choose extra guidance. A physical therapist can develop a balance routine for you and supervise as you try out every exercise.

Having someone by your side may provide you both the motivation and confidence to try more advanced exercises. They have the right to make certain you’re using good posture and also getting the many out of each movement. And they’ll encourage you to take it breaks once needed.

It’s never too late to start an exercise program or make enhancements to your existing one. In enhancement to these exercises, you can improve her balance with activities such as walking, chair yoga, and also tai chi.

Make a point to execute some form of physical task every day, also if it’s for a brief time. This way you’ll be an ext likely come stick to your routine.

In enhancement to balance exercises, incorporate strength training, cardio, and also stretching in your routine. Be sure to follow a nutritious diet that helps assistance a healthy weight for your body type.

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Most importantly, make a allude to cultivate a sense of enjoyment while making these positive renovations to her life.


Medically the review by Gregory Minnis, DPT, Physical therapy — written by Emily Cronkleton on might 11, 2020