Balance is the result of your body's stability and coordination. Balance helps you to stay upright when you are walking, climbing stairs, riding a bike, or dancing. As you get older, it is important to engage in balance exercises for seniors to maintain or improve your balance and reduce risk of falls.  

Women in green pants need assistance with balancing

Balance training can benefit everyone, and you can't have too much balance. With age, the average person adds one to two pounds per year due to normal body changes. This weight is not necessarily distributed or carried uniformly throughout the body. This will change your center of mass and could cause you to lose your balance out of the blue when you move or stand suddenly.   

What you're going to learn today is how to start a routine balancing training program to help increase your ability to move without assistance, this will help you age in place for as long as possible.

Older adults who started a routine balancing training program have increased their ability to move without assistance.  

We would like you to follow along as we delve deeper into 9 exciting moves to try for the elderly.  

Fun and Simple Balance Exercises for Seniors

For the most part, exercises can be viewed as a fun activity and should form part of our everyday life, especially as we age. Follow along as we show you three fun balance exercises for older adults. It it a good idea to have someone with you, who can steady you if you lose your balance.

Balance Exercise While Brushing Teeth

Heel and Toe Walking  

This is a very simple exercise, but it is not as easy as it seems. Walk approximately 10 feet on just your heels, then walk 10 feet on your "tip toes". Repeat this 3x or stop if you lose your balance or it becomes painful.

Gentle Rocking Exercise  

Balance Equipment for Seniors to Do Fun Exercises 

When younger individuals lose their balance, they react automatically to prevent themselves from falling. Generally, our muscles kick in to counter-act any loss of balance. However, as we get older, we must work harder to keep our muscles strong as our positional sense declines. Follow along as we discuss another three fun to do balance exercises for seniors.   

Walking in the Living Room  

Sit to Stand Exercise  

Balance Exercises for Seniors to Improve Balance and Coordination

 

Elderly woman working through balancing exercises for seniors.

To improve your balance, a moderate exercise routine is important. Here are the final four balance exercises for seniors.  

Standing Leg Raises  

Walking the Tight Rope   

This exercise does not require any equipment.  

Back Leg Raises  

Wall Push-ups  

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Conclusion

Every day or for as many days as you want and as much as you like, balance exercises for seniors can be done. Ideally, three or more days per week, seniors at risk of falling should engage in balance training to help decrease the chances of falls. Speak to your doctor if you think you may be at risk of falling.

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. AT HOME CORE EXERCISES FOR SENIORS: BALANCE STARTS IN YOUR CENTER
  2. STRETCHING EXERCISES FOR SENIORS: IMPROVE MOBILITY IN 14 DAYS
  3. TEN SYMPTOMS OF DEHYDRATION IN THE ELDERLY

Seniors should never say they are too old or frail to get started stretching. Besides, wouldn't it be great to gain extra flexibility, mobility, and independence? It is not that hard to develop a stretching routine when you are given access to tried and tested stretching exercises for seniors to improve mobility in as little as 14 days.  

As we get older, our muscles become tight, and we begin to experience more aches and pains than when we were younger. If this is you, then you may want to consider engaging in a daily stretching routine.   

The point of this article is to shed light on doable stretching exercises that will boost their mobility. In fact, we only require about 10 minutes twice a week to stretch major muscle groups and prevent a decline. We also want to highlight the benefits associated with stretching exercises for the elderly. Some exercises that come to mind are seated stretches for seniors and chair yoga for seniors.  

THE IMPORTANCE OF STRETCHING EXERCISES FOR SENIORS 

white haired man demonstrating stretching exercises for seniors

According to a study that was published in the Journal of Gerontology, participants who took part in a 12-month program that involved a variety of stretching exercises for seniors, the individuals who participated showed positive results with regards to perceived functioning, self-efficacy, and physical fitness. Furthermore, they experienced far less pain.  

The thing with age is that an older person's flexibility will decrease by as much as 50% in some regions of their body. Often, it is hardly noticeable. That is, until one day when you try to get up and realize it is much harder than it once used to be.   

During this stage of the game, seniors turn to assistive medical devices, prescriptions, and in-home carers to assist them in carrying out general everyday activities.   

Unlike most people think, stretching is not something performed only by gymnasts or runners. We all need to stretch to safeguard our mobility. According to a well-known physical therapist, David Nolan, at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, stretching must take place regularly and should be done daily.  

BENEFITS OF DAILY STRETCHING EXERCISES FOR SENIORS

WHY STRETCHING EXERCISES ARE IMPORTANT

Without flexibility, your muscles will shorten and become rigid. Then, when you require them to engage in daily activities, they are sluggish and unable to perform at normal capacity. This increases your risk of joint pain, muscle strain, and damage to your muscles.  

Sitting all day, for example, leads to tight hamstrings. This is the large muscle group that runs down the back of your leg, from the buttocks to just below the knee. That can make stretching your leg or straightening your knee significantly tougher and may inhibit walking. Similarly, the muscles can become impaired from unexpectedly being strained once tight muscles are suddenly needed for a physical exertion that extends them, like playing tennis or other fast movements. Muscles that are injured will not be strong enough to protect your joints or allow for them to function as intended. This can result in damaged joints.  

Regular stretching retains long, lean and flexible muscles, which ensures that exertion will not put too much tension on the muscle itself. To help prevent falls, healthy muscles often aid a person with balance problems.  

BEST STRETCHING EXERCISES FOR SENIORS  

Before you start exercising it would be useful to take note of the following stretching tips:  

Without any further ado, let's get to the part you've been waiting for: stretching exercises for seniors to improve mobility in 14 days.   

Exercise Program for Seniors

ANKLE CIRCLES  

For those of you who struggle with stiff or weak ankles, which often stand in the way of balancing yourself properly, ankle circles prove to be a great exercise.  

Here is how you do it:  

SHOULDER ROLLING  

You can prevent all kind of aches and pains in your shoulder and also the upper back by trying to mobilize your shoulder joints with gentle stretching exercises for seniors. Be sure to keep your upper body relaxed when doing the following:  

IN CONCLUSION 

Aging is inevitable as it happens to all of us. However, it doesn't mean we should let ourselves and our bodies go by losing our flexibility that would result in tight muscles and immobility.   

As we get older, our muscles start losing their elasticity, and our bones lose density. The secret to keeping ourselves fit is to engage in stretching exercises for seniors as these will fully support our bodies to ensure we experience improved mobility. It is all about living life without restrictions. 

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For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.

Other topics of interest:
Is Exercise Safe for Mom
Complete Guide to Aging in Place
Does Mom need Physical Therapy

That is all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Balance and fall risk reduction starts with an ability to adjust to changes in your environment without conscious thought. This ability to self correct small losses of balance is built on positional awareness and the core strength. Balance can be thought of as trying to keep your belly button (center of gravity) between your feet (base of support) when standing and moving. When you think about it that way, it is easy to see how core exercises for seniors will go a long way to help you maintain your balance and prevent an injury or fall.  

Woman with good balance walking outdoors.

WHY DO SENIORS NEED TO WORK ON THEIR CORE?

Beyond the benefits related to balance, a strong but flexible core will reduce pain and risk of future back pain, improve your posture and allow one to independently age in place for longer with reduced need for the healthcare system.

Your core muscles for the base for all movement. Take walking for example. It may seem as though your feet and legs would be the starting point for the activity. This is not the case. To initiate a step, your core muscles fire to create a stable base so then your hip flexors can lift your leg. This happens in milliseconds, but you can see the need for a stable core for even the most routine activities. 

As we age, we lose flexibility, muscle tone and strength. Unfortunately, both of these changes are part of the normal aging process. Although these declines with aging and the impairments caused can be slowed down with improved diet, proper hydration, as well as strength training and stretching. 

WHAT IS THE CORE?

CORE EXERCISES FOR SENIORS

The core is made up of 29 muscle pairs. Each pair acts in opposition to stabilize your trunk. The top is formed by the diaphragm. The bottom is the pelvic floor and hip girdle musculature. The front of the core is abdominals and the back is the small paraspinal muscles running along the spine and the larger gluteal muscles. 

For those of you looking for core exercises for seniors but are just beginning the process, start with the side bending and trunk rotations for flexibility and then progress to the plank progression for strengthening. Remember, if you do not feel stable with these activities, and evaluation with a physical therapist may be needed to determine a safe exercise program.

Side bends: This can be done in sitting or standing. Start in standing with your feet shoulder width apart and hands at your sides. Reach as far down one leg as you can without twisting. Pause at the end for a 5 second hold. Return to neutral and reach as far down the opposite leg as you can. Return to neutral. Do this 5-10 times to each side. 

Seated side bending core stretching exercise for seniors

Trunk Rotations: This can be done in sitting or standing, the important thing is to have a stable base. Keeping your hips neutral, reach with your right arm across your body to the left while rotating your shoulders to the left. Pause at the end for just a second and return to the starting position. Then reach with your left arm across your body to the right while rotating your shoulder with you to the right. Pause for a second at the end and then return to neutral. Repeat the 10 times to each side. 

Standing trunk rotation core stretching exercise for seniors

Plank Progression: Start with the wall plank. Once you can hold the position 3x for 1 minute each without pain or breaking proper posture, move to the next position. 

Wall Plank: Stand facing a wall about an arm’s length away with fingers extended. Lean in to the wall until your palms are flat against it. Walk your hands up the wall until they are at the level of your ears. Now lean into the wall until you are resting on your elbows and forearms. You should be on the balls of your feet and feel your core activate. Remember to keep your shoulders, back and hips straight and avoid sagging. Work up to being able to hold this for 1 minute 3x and then progress to the next level. 

The next 3 levels of planking for core stability require getting on the floor or at least to your knees. If you are not able to safely get down to the ground and back up again, wait until your trunk and lower extremity strength has improved to allow for improved ability to achieve these positions.  

Kneeling Plank with Chair: For this exercise, you will need a sturdy chair. Using the chair for stability, go down to your knees. “Walk” backwards on your knees until your hands are on the front of the seat of the chair. Lean into the chair and go down to your elbows/forearms. It is OK for your palms to be flat on the chair, but it may be more comfortable to have your hands in the thumbs up position. Make sure to keep a flat back and feel your core engage. Hold this position for 10 seconds to 1 minute, but stop and rest if you can't hold your back straight as sagging can lean to low back pain.

Kneeling Plank: This is very similar to the “kneeling plank with chair”, but instead of using the chair, the plank is held with knees and forearms on the ground. Be sure to keep a flat back between your hips and shoulders. Hold this position for 10 seconds to 1 minute, but stop and rest if you can't hold your back straight as sagging can lean to low back pain.

Full Plank: This is the toughest position: Prop on elbows as in the kneeling plank, but instead of having your knees on the ground, lift up on your toes. Keep a flat back and make sure your shoulders and hips do not sag. If you can reach this position and hold it for any length of time you are doing very well with your core strength and stability.

Remember if any of the progressions lead to low back pain this means your core is not yet strong enough for this position for that amount of time. Reduce time held in the position to a point before pain comes on, or return to an easier position and increase the time you are holding it to continue to increase your core strength.

JOIN MY EMAIL LIST
For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.

That is all for today. Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

RESOURCES

  1. Best Core Exercises
  2. Core Muscle Strength: Why it is important to maintain

Low blood pressure in the elderly: Definition, causes, symptoms and how to prevent.

Model of human heart and textbook describing low blood pressure in the elderly

DEFINITION OF LOW BLOOD PRESSURE

Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension is defined as a blood pressure below 90/60 mm Hg. If either systolic blood pressure (top number) is below 90 mm Hg or the diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure is below 60 mm Hg, it is considered a low blood pressure. This does not change with age, although risk of hypotension increases with age. Check out the chart for normal blood pressure by age and to learn about causes of and how to prevent hypertension with age. The Cleveland Clinic also has a good description of blood pressure, here.

CAUSES OF LOW BLOOD PRESSURE IN THE ELDERLY

woman displaying confusion and blurry vision due to low blood pressure in the elderly

SYMPTOMS OF LOW BLOOD PRESSURE IN THE ELDERLY

If you have low blood pressure, but do not have any of the symptoms listed below, you have asymptomatic hypotension. This is usually not treated because if the blood pressure was too low to get oxygen to the needed tissues such as brain cells and muscles, you would be having symptoms. Symptoms associated with low blood pressure include:

If you or a loved one are having any of these symptoms, along with a systolic blood pressure below 90 mm Hg or a diastolic blood pressure below 60 mm Hg, contact your physician.

HOW TO PREVENT SYMPTOMS OF LOW BLOOD PRESSURE IN THE ELDERLY

Often symptoms of hypotension appear with rapid movements from sitting to standing or laying to sitting. This orthostatic hypotension can often be prevented by taking a few deep breaths prior to movement, changing position slowly, and then taking a couple deep breaths once in the new position. This gives your vascular system enough time to catch up and sustain the blood flow to your brain preventing the dizziness or faintness that could otherwise occur. Another way to reduce symptoms of low blood pressure in the elderly is to drink more water and decrease alcohol and caffeine intake. Both alcohol and caffeine have a net negative effect on total hydration status. This is because your kidneys use water to flush them out of your system. Drinking water is the best way to improve hydration status. Eating fruits and veggies is another less effective but healthy way to improve dehydration.

Being the primary caregiver for a loved one can be quite difficult at times, but is also very rewarding. That is why we are building a community to keep mom safe at home. Check out these other posts you may find helpful.

As be sure to sign up for the newsletter for a free balance program and common fall hazards around the house and how to correct them!

JOIN MY EMAIL LIST
For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn