Balance is something that you don’t think about in your younger days. Your focus is just on walking or moving forward. But as you grow older, sometimes balancing yourself becomes hard. You tend to lose balance and fall down. Falling at an old age generally means a trip to the hospital. Sometimes, it also means undergoing an expensive surgery due to broken bones after a fall! So, it’s better to work on your balance by doing exercises. Check out these balance exercises for seniors that help to 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 everyday living. This involves making use of vision, vestibular sense, proprioception, muscle strength, and response speed. Unfortunately, as we age, these systems start to deteriorate and can lead to balance issues.
To get stronger, strength training is something that many women go for. But for balance issues, pick the right exercises.
Here are 5 balance exercises that elderly women can perform at home
1. Seated leg raise
• Sit on a secure chair with your hands on the arm rests and your feet on the ground.
• Raise one leg up and keep it like that for 5 seconds. Do this movement 10 times on each side.
You can make the exercise more challenging by not using the arm rests, sitting on an office chair that have wheels, sitting on a stability ball, and even closing your eyes, suggests the expert.
• To do lunges, stand in a staggered position with your right foot a few feet ahead of the left.
• Be sure to keep your torso erect, your shoulders back and down, your core engaged, and your hand touching a wall.
• Bend your knees and bring your body down until your left knee is a few inches from the floor.
• At the bottom of the movement, your front thigh should be parallel to the ground.
• Then push your body back up to the original position.
To make the exercise more difficult, you can place your hands on your hips.
3. Single leg static balance
• Get your feet hip-width apart, distribute your weight evenly on both legs and place your hands on the hips.
• Elevate your left foot off the floor and hold the position for as long as you can while maintaining proper form.
• Go back to the starting position and repeat it on the other side. As you become steadier, extend the duration until you can do it for one minute on each side.
You can push yourself further by trying to do it with your eyes closed, says Rattan, co-founder of The Body Science Academy, Noida.
4. Single leg clock taps
• Visualise a clock on the floor in front of you. Think of 12 o’clock right at the center.
• Stand on your left leg and tap the 2 o’clock position with your right foot and stand back up.
• Then tap the 4 o’clock position and so on.
• Now switch legs and do the same with your left leg, starting at 10 o’clock, then 8 o’clock and so on.
While this can help you to tackle balance issue, you can also try out exercises for women over 60 just to stay fit.
5. Wood chop
• Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel to each other.
• Grab a water bottle or a dumbbell in both hands on the side of your right hip.
• Pivot on your rear foot to the left while swinging your arms up in a controlled manner.