5 Senior Activities That Improve Balance & Prevent Falls

5 Senior Activities That Improve Balance & Prevent Falls

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Falls are common in seniors because of their age, and it becomes more frequent the older they grow. Every year, scores of adults above 65 years experience this. It leads to severe injuries, with about 3 million seniors undergoing surgery and intensive care injuries sustained after a fall. 

Fall risks 

Some of the risks of falling for seniors are related to a combination of several factors such as:

  • Walking and balance problems. Vestibular problems, vision changes, and altered feet sensation can affect balance in seniors
  • Using multiple medications can lead to falls. Combining up to five drugs increases the risk of falls in seniors
  • Home hazards such as trip hazards and dim hazards
  • Footwear and feet issues
  • Low blood pressure in certain positions, e.g., orthostatic hypotension (blood pressure drops while standing). 

Exercises that improve balance and reduce fall

Fall is a significant problem for seniors and can lead to severe injuries. However, it can also be prevented easily through regular exercises. There are several exercises that adults can participate in to improve their balance and reduce the risks of falls. Some of these are:

1. Chair sit to stand exercise

This is a simple exercise that requires a stable chair with solid arms. This exercise involved sitting and standing on the chair. 

Stand in front of the chair in a position that precedes sitting down on it, then bend down as though to sit down and reach back to the armrests. The arms will serve as extra support and guide while sitting down slowly on the chair. 

This exercise must be done slowly to engage the leg muscles. So participants are not just dropping to the chair. 

The second part is from the sitting position; use both arms and legs simultaneously to stand up. Pause for a while and repeat the process. 

The goal should be to repeat this exercise at least ten times at a go while feeling solid and steady at the same time. If this exercise becomes too easy, the participants can use only one hand to sit on the chair and stand from it to increase the intensity.

2. Balance on one leg

Participants are to stand in front of two sturdy chairs of the same or similar height or front of a counter. Then hold the supportive surface of the counter while bending the knee to balance on one leg by raising one of the feet. After standing on the foot for about 10 to 15 seconds, put the foot down and repeat the process for the second foot. 

Start the exercise by holding on to the support with both hands. Then as you progress with the exercise, make it more difficult by using one hand for support. Once that becomes easy, too, then try to do the exercise without holding any support. 

3. Side leg raise

Participants are to hold the back of a sturdy chair or countertop while maintaining a good standing posture. Then raise one of your legs to the side while ensuring that your toes are pointed straight towards the countertop or chair you are holding. 

Be deliberate with this and do it slowly, so the muscles are engaged in the exercise, not momentum. Ensure not to lean forward or dip the upper body towards the opposite side as you raise your leg. 

Do this for both legs and try to repeat it at least ten times. 

4. Back leg raise

Like the side raise, participants hold a countertop or sturdy chair while maintaining a good posture and raise one leg behind the body. Again, make sure the leg is straight and the knee is not bending. 

Be slow and deliberate when doing this to engage the muscles well. Ensure not to lean forward or use a rocking motion with your leg raised. Do this for both legs and try to repeat it at least ten times. 

5. Heel-toe walk 

This is the most challenging of all the exercises in this article. First, participants have to stand beside a countertop which they are to hold with one hand. To make it easier, use a person or stick for support on the second side. Then walk in a straight line while placing the heel directly in front of your toes. 

This exercise may be too strenuous for some seniors, so it may not be appropriate for them, especially if they are not steady enough.

Conclusion

Falls result from imbalance or a lack of steadiness in seniors, and they can cause severe injuries. Thankfully, these exercises help to improve the balance of seniors and reduce the risk of falls. 

About the Author

Charlie Svensson is a fast, engaging freelance essay writer that provides assignment writing service for several essay writing websites. In addition, he is skilled in content writing and blogging. The favorite topics of his posts are education, social media, marketing, SEO, motivation blogging, and self-growth. Excellent adaptability of skills to reach diverse audiences. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charlie Svensson
Charlie Svensson

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