Best Balance Exercises for Seniors: 9 Exciting Moves to Try
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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.
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.
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
Stand where you usually brush your teeth, but a little bit away from the sink to ensure you have enough room around you.
Now, lift your right foot an inch off the ground.
Using your right arm, brush the left corner of your mouth. Time it for 10 seconds.
Place your toothbrush in your left hand. It is your left foot's turn. Raise it slightly of the ground and brush the right corner of the mouth. Time it for 10 seconds
Keep switching from one side to another and repeat 5 times.
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
With your feet slightly apart, stand upright and your back relaxed.
Start by moving your your hips in a small clock-wise circle. Keep your belly button over your feet.
Then reverse the movement to counter clock-wise. Go in each direction for one minute.
To increase the difficulty of this exercise, bring your feet all the way together and keep your shoulders over your hips.
Stop before losing your balance.
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
Set up a space of 10 to 20 feet to walk in a straight line.
Walk across your living room while slowly scanning from left to right and back.
Turn around and repeat this process. Complete 5 repetitions.
Sit to Stand Exercise
Begin in a seated position.
Cross your arms around the front of your shoulders with the left hand on your right shoulder, and your right hand on the left shoulder.
Stand up. It may help you keep your balance to focus on a point straight ahead of you.
You should be able to reach standing from the position of having your nose over your toes. Some times rocking helps to build momentum.
Balance Exercises for Seniors to Improve Balance and Coordination
To improve your balance, a moderate exercise routine is important. Here are the final four balance exercises for seniors.
Standing Leg Raises
Start by planting your feet shoulder-width apart.
Raise your arms to the side to balance yourself
Keep your shoulder straight while looking forward.
Lift one of your legs off the ground and hold it for 30 seconds
Repeat the same procedure using your other leg
Do this 5 times per side.
Walking the Tight Rope
This exercise does not require any equipment.
This is the 3rd exercise in the video above.
Walk in a straight line placing the heel of one foot directly in front of the toes of the other foot.
If needed you can hold your arms out to the side to improve your balance.
It helps to focus on an object in the distance, and make sure your posture remains upright.
Walk across the room and back 3 times.
Back Leg Raises
Stand at a counter or behind a chair with your hands on the back of it for balance.
Raise your right leg backwards without bending at the knee or the waist. This does not require a large straight leg movement.
Hold this position for a count of 5 seconds before you return your leg to its original position.
Do the same exercise for your other leg.
Repeat 15 times for each leg
You must start by standing in front of a wall at an arm's length.
Lean forward, but doing so gently and place your hands on the wall.
At the same time, keep your feet firmly planted on the floor.
Lastly, push yourself back to the stage where your arms are straight out.
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.
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.
I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy and have been working with the 70+ age group for over a decade. I will share my knowledge and experience to give you ideas to care for your aging parents. Read more >>