As we get older we often take for granted our continued health and mobility. Age will often have some unfortunate and often detrimental effects to our balance and coordination, and it becomes more important than ever before to promote good exercise habits to counteract that. After all, retaining your mobility for as long as possible allows you to be independent for longer than normal.
If you’re a senior adult or a caregiver for a senior loved one, you might be worried about keeping up your balance. And, while our senior apartment communities in Madison Heights have a friendly and helpful staff to help monitor our residents, accidents can still occur. If you’re worried about this and looking for some exercises that can help improve balance and coordination, or to help prevent falls or spills from happening, then look no further. Here are a couple that might help:
1.) Clock Reach
The clock reach is exactly like it sounds: stretching your arms around you like you were at the center of a clock face.
What you need to do is find a stable chair, and hold on to the back of it with your left hand to keep your balance. Once you feel comfortable that you’re stable, lift one of your legs and hold it in the air, balancing on one leg.
Start with your free arm facing out front, like the hand of a clock pointing at twelve, and slowly rotate your arm around behind you to face toward the six. And then, repeat on the other side with the other arm: start at twelve, and start slowly rotating your arm toward the six. Repeat on both sides.
This exercise helps to increase your flexibility and mobility as well as helping to prevent a loss of balance.
2.) Sit and Stands
This exercise can be particularly important to help you or your senior loved one lift themselves up after a fall. The name of this one is pretty self-explanatory: sitting down and standing up from a chair.
First, make sure that you have a sturdy chair nearby. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and, if you need it, make sure that you have something to hold onto to help you keep your balance. From this point, sit down slowly, bending your knees and gently lowering yourself down into the chair. Pause briefly, to make sure that you are fully at rest, and then lift yourself up from the chair again without bending your torso.
Once you have more practice and feel confident in your balance, try completing this exercise without grabbing onto anything to help you lift yourself up. Being more easily able to pick yourself up from a chair means a less likely chance of falling!
3.) Marching in Place
Left, left, left right left!
Marching in place can be a great way for seniors who are having trouble with their balance and mobility to get some practice. Too often seniors will shuffle their feet to move around instead of taking full steps by lifting their feet off the ground. This exercise helps to remind them to pick up their feet as well as improve their balance as they walk.
It’s an easy exercise: make sure that you or your senior has a sturdy piece of furniture, a wall, or a counter to hold onto if they need that extra balance and support. While standing straight upright, lift one knee as high as it can go, and then gently rest your foot on the ground again. Then, repeat with the other foot. Repeat this motion twenty times.
As you progress in your strength and balance, try to do this exercise without holding onto anything. Or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you might be able to get a group and do this in one of the recreation rooms or club rooms at the senior apartment communities in Madison Heights! The more you practice, the more improvement you’ll see, and that’s even more exciting if you can do it with others!
4.) Toe Lifts
Toe lifts are a great and easy exercise to help improve your balance and posture.
First, stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart and, if needed to help maintain your balance, grab hold of a sturdy piece of furniture or a countertop. When you feel steady enough on your feet, lift yourself up onto your toes as high as you can for a few seconds, and then gently lower yourself back down. Repeat this motion twenty times.
Standing on your toes helps you improve your balance by forcing you to balance on the balls of your feet instead of your whole foot. It also helps improve your posture, as you’re not easily able to stand on your toes unless your posture is straight.
5.) Head Rotations
This exercise is a great option for seniors who might not be able to stand for long periods of time, as this is an exercise that can be done sitting down. It helps to promote better balance and mobility, and is an easy one to do even while watching your favorite television show!
If you are standing, stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart. If you need to hold onto something, grab onto a nearby sturdy piece of furniture, a wall, a counter, or any other flat surface. If you are sitting, make sure to sit up straight in a straight-backed chair.
To do this exercise, simply turn your head: first, left to right; then up and down; and then in a circle. Do this for thirty seconds while standing or sitting as still as possible. However, you shouldn’t continue doing this exercise if you start getting dizzy, as it really could cause you to fall!
Reserve at Redrun
Here at Reserve at Redrun, we pride ourselves in providing a positive and healthy senior apartment community in Madison Heights. These exercises are a great start to improve on balance, especially if your senior doesn’t have the mobility that they once did. However, if you or your senior is more mobile and able to, we also have yoga and tai chi classes to help improve that balance even further.
If you’re interested in touring our facility and seeing what all we have to offer to give your senior the best experience possible, contact us today!