Maintaining good balance in elderly individuals is essential to ensure their safety and well-being. Muscle weakness, poor balance, and deteriorated alertness frequently surface as one gets older. Consequently, ‘fall risk’ tends to be higher in older people, whether they are strolling outdoors or moving indoors in the comfort of their home.
Fortunately, there are some easy exercises that help elderly people improve their balance, leg strength, and flexibility and minimize their risk of falls to a great extent. So, aren’t you curious to learn which simple exercises can help elderly improve their balance thereby reducing the risk of fall? Find them below.
8 Easy Exercises To Maintain Balance In Elderly Reducing Their Risk Of Falls:
First of all, elderly individuals need a pair of stable shoes and sturdy chair to perform these exercises for support and safety. Also, senior citizens should practice these exercises with close supervision.
- Heel-Toe Raises:
Performing heel-toe raises helps improve circulation, muscle tone and the strength in elderly’s calf muscles.
- Place both feet hip-width apart by standing facing the chair’s back. Rest hands on chair’s back for support.
- Slowly shift your weight onto your heels as you lift your toes.
- Now, slowly roll onto the toes as you lift your heels.
- Rock forwards and backwards between your heels and toes.
- Start with 5 repetitions and increase them till 15 repetitions.
- Leg Raises:
Practicing leg raises strengthens muscles of both your hips and legs that helps improve the stability in elderly as they stand and walk.
- Stand behind a solid chair and rest your hands on the chair’s back for support.
- Keep shoulder-width distance between your feet and your shoulders, hips, and knees aligned.
- Slowly, shift your weight to right leg while you flex your left leg and pull it up
- Repeat it on the other leg and perform it 15 times with each leg.
- Weight Shifts:
Performing weight shifts regularly helps strengthen your muscles, particularly muscles around the belly button. It helps elderly improve and maintain their balance effectively.
- Stand behind a solid chair by placing your hands on the back of chair for support.
- Keep a shoulder-wide distance between your feet and bend your knees a bit.
- Now, slowly shift your weight entirely onto the right leg, hold for a couple of seconds.
- Then, in a fluid motion, shift your weight to your left leg.
- Perform this exercise in a controlled manner in a swaying motion shifting your weight from side to side.
- Perform it in 5 repetitions on each side.
- One-Leg Stand:
Performing one-leg stand regularly helps increase the strength in the core muscles and hips of senior citizens and improves their balance.
- Stand facing the back of a sturdy chair, and, if you need support, place one hand on the chair’s back.
- Stand upright looking in the front.
- Shift your weight on right leg, and slowly and carefully raise your left leg in your front till your upper thigh of left leg is parallel to the ground.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
- Switch your legs and perform again.
- Walking On Toes:
Improves the strength of your calf muscles, helps in maintaining good balance, and improves over all co-ordination of various parts of your body.
- Place your feet hip-width apart.
- Raise your heels, get on your toes, and walk on your toes. You may take some support; for instance holding on to a banister or an steady extending support that enables you to complete your exercise.
- Start with five steps and then increase the number.
- Heel-To-Toe Walk:
Have a good balance while walking by practicing heel-to-toe walk regularly and carefully.
- Stand straight up right in good posture and look in the front.
- Walk slowly by placing the heel of your one foot directly in front of the toe of your other leg.
- Slump Stretch:
Improve flexibility of your hamstring, sciatic nerve, and back by performing slump stretch as you age.
- Stretch forward gently and carefully.
- Try bringing your chin near your chest.
- Try stretching your hands down pointing towards your toes.
- While you keep your heels on the ground, raise your toes up trying to meet your hands.
- Hold on for 10 seconds.
- Return to the initial position gently.
- Repeat it again.
- “I am ready to fly” Stretch:
An easy stretch to maintain balance
Stand with your feet a little apart.
- Lift one leg as shown in the image
- Keeping your back straight, stretch out your arms keeping them parallel to the ground
- Try to stand in the position for 5-10 seconds. Be gentle on yourself and do not strain.
- Repeat with the other leg.
Make it a practice to do 3-5 rounds of this exercise.
Now that you know these simple exercises, encourage the elderly in your family to practice them regularly under good supervision gently and safely to help maintain their balance. Also, if you are looking for the best ways to take care of your elderly, make it a point to get in touch with a reliable home health care service provider. Their services will ensure that neither you nor your aged loved ones have to travel or stand in long queues to avail the desired health care service.