Balance exercises for seniors prevents falls
Exercise keeps older adults as strong and independent as possible. In this free 5 minute video, physical therapists Bob and Brad demonstrate 5 simple, safe, and effective balance exercises for seniors to do at home.
When done regularly, these exercises significantly improve strength, increase balance, and reduce fall risk.
Note: Even though Bob and Brad’s video title says there are 3 exercises, there are actually 5.
Why exercise with a walker?
Anyone can benefit from these exercises, but they’re especially good for people who are frail or a bit unsteady. By using a properly secured walker as a workout aid, older adults get extra support to keep them safe while they exercise.
Safety first! Prevent falls while exercising
For support and safety, stand close and be ready to support your senior at least the first few times they try these exercises. Have them sit and take breaks when they get tired and don’t do any exercise that causes pain. The last thing anyone wants is for them to fall or get hurt while they’re exercising.
If they’re especially frail or wobbly, use an inexpensive gait belt for extra safety. Encourage them to keep doing the exercises with you at their side – they will gain strength over time.
For all exercises, your older adult should stand at their walker, holding the handles, and have a sturdy chair right behind them in case they get tired or lose their balance and need to sit suddenly (as seen in video, 1 min 10 sec).
5 balance exercises for seniors using a walker
Exercise 1 (1:22 in video)
March in place, lifting knees as high as possible. Do 10 on each leg for a total of 20 marching steps,
Exercise 2 (1:49 in video)
Lift one leg out to the side using a slow, controlled motion. Do 10 lifts on each leg, one side at a time.
To get the full benefit of the exercise, have your senior move slowly and watch out for signs of “cheating” (1:59 in video).
Exercise 3 (2:24 in video)
Lift one leg straight back behind. Do 10 lifts on each leg, one leg at a time.
Watch out for signs of “cheating” (2:38 in video).
Exercise 4 (2:55 in video)
Stand with feet about shoulder width apart. Slowly do a small squat, being careful not to go too low, especially in the beginning. Do 10 squats.
As strength builds over time and this gets easier, increase the depth of the squat.
Exercise 5 (3:35 in video)
While standing, lift up heels so your senior is standing on their toes. Then, lift toes and slowly rock back on heels. Do this 10 times.
Practice is more important than perfection
Even if your senior can’t do the exercises perfectly or can’t do 10 repetitions, keep encouraging them to do their best. They don’t need to be done perfectly to get the benefit – as long as there’s no cheating, of course!
As your older adult gains strength and balance over time, they’ll be able to do better and better.
You might also like:
— VIDEO: Easy & Effective 10 Minute Chair Exercises for Seniors
— How To Use a Walker Safely and Comfortably
— VIDEO: Fall Prevention Exercises for Seniors – Stay Balanced While Reaching
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Walkers for Seniors