Balance exercises for seniors prevent falls
Exercise keeps older adults as strong and independent as possible by improving strength and balance.
We found a free 5 minute video in which physical therapists 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.
We explain why exercising with a walker helps unsteady seniors, how they can stay safe while exercising, and describe how to do each exercise.
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
The last thing anyone wants is for someone to fall or get hurt while they’re 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.
If your older adult is 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.
5 balance exercises for seniors using a walker
For all exercises, your older adult should stand at their walker, holding the handles.
Place a sturdy, non-slip chair directly behind them in case they get tired or lose their balance and need to sit suddenly (as seen in video, 1 min 10 sec).
Note: Even though Bob and Brad’s video title says there are 3 exercises, there are actually 5.
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 older adult can’t do the exercises perfectly or can’t do 10 repetitions, keep encouraging them to do their best.
As your older adult gains strength and balance over time, they’ll be able to do better and better.
Recommended for you:
- Chair Yoga for Seniors: Reduce Pain and Improve Health [Video]
- 9 Enjoyable Activities for Seniors with Limited Mobility
- 3 Simple Exercises for Swollen Legs and Ankles in Seniors [Video]
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Walkers for Seniors
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