Balance gives you confidence to succeed in many of your daily activities. You’ve probably heard it 1000 times, but it’s true. It’s never too late to improve your health. A healthy lifestyle is essential as we age.
According to the CDC injuries due to falls are the most common cause of injury-related deaths for Americans aged 65 and over. Poor balance is one of the leading risk factors for falling. We have compiled a list of exercises that can help you reduce your chance of falling. Balance is an important part of independent aging and gracefully aging.
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Balance exercises for seniors: The benefits
You might not be aware of the importance of balance until you lose it. This loss is common in old age for most people.
Some seniors may experience problems with balance or falling due to medical conditions that are beyond their control. The American Council on Exercise states that one fifth of older adults have balance problems.
If you aren’t convinced that you should take this seriously, remember that falls are the most common cause of injury-related death among those 65 years and older. According to the National Council on Aging, falling is not an inevitable consequence of aging. You can help to prevent falling later by doing your part.
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Balance as you age has many benefits:
This is good for fall prevention. This is crucial because it is one of the best ways to prevent yourself from falling mid-fall.
- Greater body awareness is about being aware of your body in space.
- You will be more independent and self-sufficient. You will have more confidence and less chance of injury.
Stronger bones and muscles. Exercise is known to strengthen bones and muscles. Strong bones are more resistant and less likely to break.
Better vision. Regular exercise is a good way to maintain your eye health. It also improves your ability to avoid falling from any obstacles.
Why seniors lose balance
- Balance is a normal part of aging. Seniors can lose their balance more frequently due to weaker core muscles or changes in the eyesight.
- As you age, loss of balance is not an inevitable thing. It is not a necessity.
What is Balance?
It’s not a good idea to wait to save money for retirement until you’re 65. You also don’t want to wait to get older to prepare yourself for the strength, balance and independence you’ll need to be independent for as long as you can. Balance is the ability of your body to maintain its stability in space.
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The Sensory Components Of Balance
- Eyes. Your eyes provide clues that will help you stay balanced and avoid obstacles.
- Nerves. Nerve receptors. Your brain receives messages from nerve receptors in your inner ear when your head moves in any direction.
Tendons and muscles. Proprioceptors are the third factor in good balance. They tell your brain when you move so you can know how much muscle movement is required to maintain equilibrium.
How seniors can assess their balance
Here are some tips to help seniors understand their current balance. Before you start any kind of exercise, stretching, balance or other type of activity, it is important to know your current level of balance.
Decide which side is dominant. It is important to be aware of this when you practice balance. It’s normal for one side to be stronger, and it is important to recognize this and work with the non-dominant side.
Pay attention to your posture. Your posture plays a significant role in stability and balance.
Your core muscles are important. Your ability to balance is greatly affected by your core muscles. Your success will depend on your ability to activate the core muscles and strengthening them.
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Focus your gaze on a fixed point on a wall. Balance can be made easier by finding a central point for exercises.
Keep your knees bent. This will lower the center of gravity, prevent your knees buckling, and increase stability overall.
Distribute your weight equally across both feet. Better balance means a wider base.
- How Seniors can improve their balance
- During the day, stand on one foot at a time.
- Instead of sitting on a chair, use an exercise ball to sit at your desk.
- Hold a chair for a few seconds and then squat over it.
- Take a book with you everywhere.
- Take yoga classes!
- Keep your eyes closed and stand still. Take a step forward, then count to 10.
- To take it to the next level, you can try the Bosu stability ball and/or balance ball!
- These simple tips can help you improve your balance. For a workout, click here