Balance is something you don’t think about in your youth. Your attention is focused only on walking or moving forward. But as you get older, sometimes balancing becomes difficult. You tend to lose your balance and fall. Falling in old age usually means a trip to the hospital. Sometimes, it also means undergoing expensive surgery due to broken bones after a fall! Therefore, it is better to work on balance by doing exercises. Check out these balance exercises for seniors to help keep you fit and less prone to falls.
HealthShots connected with fitness expert Varun Rattan, who says that maintaining balance is an essential skill for daily living. This involves making use of vision, the vestibular sense, proprioception, muscle strength, and speed of response. Unfortunately, as we age, these systems begin to deteriorate and can lead to balance problems.
Also read: It’s never too late to start! Here’s why exercise is a must for older adults
To get stronger, strength training is something many women do. But for balance problems, choose the right exercises.
Here are 5 balance exercises older women can do at home.
1. Seated leg raise
• Sit in a secure chair with your hands on the armrests and feet on the floor.
• Raise one leg and hold it for 5 seconds. Do this movement 10 times on each side.
You can make the exercise more challenging by not using the armrests, sitting in an office chair that has wheels, sitting on a stability ball, and even closing your eyes, the expert suggests.
• To do lunges, stand in a staggered stance with your right foot a few feet in front of your left.
• Be sure to keep your torso upright, shoulders back and down, core contracted, and hand touching a wall.
• Bend your knees and lower your body until your left knee is a few inches off the ground.
• At the bottom of the movement, the front thigh should be parallel to the ground.
• Then push your body back to the original position.
To make the exercise more difficult, you can place your hands on your hips.
3. Static balance on one leg
• Keep your feet hip-width apart, distribute your weight evenly on both legs, and place your hands on your hips.
• Lift your left foot off the ground and hold for as long as you can while maintaining proper form.
• Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. As you become more stable, extend the duration until you can do it for one minute on each side.
You can push yourself harder if you try doing it with your eyes closed, says Rattan, co-founder of The Body Science Academy, Noida.
4. One-legged watch taps
• Visualize a clock on the ground in front of you. Think 12 o’clock right in the middle.
• Stand on your left leg and touch the 2 o’clock position with your right foot and return to standing position.
• Then touch the 4 o’clock position and so on.
• Now switch legs and do the same with the left leg, starting at 10 o’clock, then 8 o’clock and so on.
While this can help you address your balance issue, you can also try exercises for women over 60 just to stay in shape.
5. Wood chop
• Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel to each other.
• Grab a water bottle or dumbbell with both hands on the side of your right hip.
• Turn your back foot to the left while swinging your arms up in a controlled manner.