Sometimes, we forget that maintaining balance and balance exercises for seniors are important. But as we age, losing balance becomes increasingly common and something we must anticipate. According to data, a large number of falls among the elderly are caused by balance problems.
Between 28%-45% of times that elderly people falls, it is due to a balance disorder. There are easy and fun balance exercises designed especially for seniors. These exercises can help with balance and preventing falls.
According to a study, balance and coordination exercises can dramatically enhance balance performance in the elderly. The 12-week program has also been shown to improve mental ability and quality of life among the elderly.
What Are Some Of The Primary Reasons Elderly People Fall?
Falling can be caused by many factors. The elderly often falls as a result of:
- Decrease of muscular mass and proper posture, resulting in altered gait and walking.
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, and vertigo brought on by low blood pressure or medications.
- Aging-related loss of balance and coordination.
- Environmental dangers, such as clutter or wet floors.
- Slower reaction time as a result of cognitive deterioration.
- Vision impairment.
25 Fun and Easy Balance Exercises
A major cause of the decline in balance is sedentary behavior. Luckily, with these easy balancing workouts that don’t require a lot of equipment, this can be quickly improved. By following the advice of online experts, you can create an excellent balance training plan tailored specifically for you to do at home.
Warm-up Exercises for Balance
1. Single-leg Stance
- Stand with good posture on the floor—be stable and comfortable.
- Slowly lift your right foot off the ground and hold that position for 10 seconds before putting it back down again.
- Repeat with your left foot.
- Do this 5–10 times in total.
2. Head Rotation
This easy warm-up can improve your balance by strengthening your neck muscles.
- Face forward and stand tall.
- Turn your head slowly in a circle by moving it from left to the right, then from up to down. Repeat the rotation in the opposite direction.
- Perform each circuit about 5-10 times.
3. Single Leg Stand With Arm
This exercise, in addition to the single-leg stance, targets the core muscles, increasing core strength and stability.
- Stand facing forwards.
- Lift your right leg off the ground.
- Raise your right arm straight above your head at the same time.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds before lowering your foot and arm gently.
- Repeat on your left side to finish the circuit.
- Perform each circuit 5-10 times.
4. Shoulder Rolls
This calming exercise improves arm mobility as well as core strength. You have the option of sitting or standing.
- Rotate your shoulders backwards gently. Move your shoulders up to the ceiling and then move down.
- Do the rotation again forwards.
- Repeat each circuit 10 times.
5. Tree Pose
This exercise was originally a yoga pose.
- Standing on one leg, place your other foot on your standing knee.
- Put your hands together in front of you or above your head.
- Hold this position for a minute and then repeat it five times.
6. Balancing Wand
As the exercise equipment, you’ll need an umbrella, cane, or broomstick. This exercise not only improves hand-eye coordination, but also helps you find your center of gravity and become more balanced.
- Face forward while sitting upright.
- Extend your arm in front of you, palm up.
- Place the long object on your palm using your other hand, then attempt to balance it there for as many moments as you can.
- Now turn to the opposite side.
- Each circuit should be repeated 5 to10 times.
Dynamic Exercises for Balance
7. Heel Lifts
Lifting heels are excellent for strengthening the calves and leg muscles to increase balance.
- Hold onto the back of a chair while you stand behind it.
- Lift your heels slowly off the floor and stand on your toes.
- Get into the position shown in the image above. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
8. Walking Heel-to-Toe or Balancing Beam
With this exercise, you may add some fun by using your imagination. Pretend you’re on a balance beam or walking a tightrope. This physically demanding activity benefits both the abdominal muscles and calf muscles.
- Place your right foot in front of your left, ensuring the heel touches the toes, and then take a step forward.
- Slowly raise your left leg to the front, touching the heel and toes as you transfer your weight onto your right leg.
- Walk 20-30 steps in this direction.
9. Single Leg Lifts
A chair or a high grab bar can be used as support.
- Maintain proper posture by standing straight.
- Keep your left foot firmly planted and slowly raise your right foot an inch off the ground without bending your knees.
- Increase the difficulty by flexing your calves.
- After maintaining this posture for 10 seconds, go to the other leg and repeat the process ten more times.
10. Stepping Stones
In this exercise, you’ll need five circle markers, or you could simply draw the circles on the ground. Draw one circle in which you will stand and four other circles – one in front of you, one behind you, and one on each side. You can add stability by using a cane if needed.
- Start by stepping into the circle behind with your right leg.
- Return to the center.
- Proceed to step into each of the remaining circles, always remembering to return to the center with your right leg between movements.
- Repeat with the left foot. Once finished continue for three minutes in total.
11. Shake the Boat
For this exercise, use a chair as support. This exercise targets concerns with standing balance.
- Face forward while standing.
- Lift your right leg out to the side, slightly bending to the left.
- Hold this pose for five seconds before lowering your leg.
- Repeat with the left leg. This should be done ten times for each leg.
If you don’t have a real rope ladder to set up on the ground, have someone draw one for you, or just use your imagination. This activity is commonly used in football practice sessions.
- Step into the ladder with your right leg first, then your left.
- Next, step out the same way.
- Continue along the entire length of the ladder.
13. Marching on the Spot
This activity increases body awareness while also providing a light cardiovascular workout. You can add some music to the rhythm.
- Start by facing ahead.
- Raise your right leg to hip level while swinging your left arm out in front of you.
- Repeat on the opposite side, increasing the speed until you’re marching on the spot.
- Continue marching at your preferred pace for one minute.
14. Toe Lifts
This is an excellent workout for strengthening your lower leg muscles.
- Begin by standing behind a chair with both hands on it.
- Gradually raise your toes off the floor, maintaining your balance on your heels.
- Hold for about 10 seconds before resting. Repeat 10-15 times.
Moderate to Difficult Exercises
15. Side Leg Lifts
This exercise is excellent for improving your hip flexibility.
- Start by holding on to a chair or countertop.
- Lift your right leg out to the side and stay in this position for 10 seconds.
- Then, repeat with the left leg for a total of 10-15 repetitions.
16. Rotations of the Upper Body
This challenging workout is great for hip mobility and coordination.
- Stand tall and place your hands on your hips.
- Slowly lean your upper body forwards at the hips.
- Now make a full circle by rotating it to your right, then backwards, then left.
- Make ten circles with your upper body.
17. Sit to Stand
This workout strengthens your hip flexors and lower body.
- Begin by sitting in a chair.
- Slowly lean your upper torso forward at the hips.
- Return to a seated position by lowering yourself slowly.
- Do this 10 to 15 times.
18. Back Leg Lifts
These strengthen your glutes and lower back.
- Hold onto the back of a chair while standing.
- Raise your right leg slowly off the floor and swing it backward.
- Hold this pose for about 10 seconds before bringing your leg back to the middle.
- Repeat on the left leg and continue the workout for 10-15 rounds.
19. Cross-Body Punches with One Leg
This physically demanding task is a great cardio workout that also hones your hand-eye coordination.
- To start, stand on one leg.
- Alternate between throwing punches with your right and left arm slowly.
- While moving your upper body, make sure to keep engagement in your core.
20. Side-step Walk
You can strengthen your lower body and hips by performing these lateral movements.
- Step with your right leg out to the side while facing forward, then bring your left leg in to bring your feet together.
- This should be repeated for around 15-20 steps in each direction.
21. Stair Tapping
This exercise will raise your heart rate while strengthening your lower leg muscles.
- Place yourself in front of a step stool or a step.
- You can use a cane or side rail as support.
- Bring your left leg up to meet with your right as you take a step forward.
- Then step down in the same order.
- Repeat the cycle 15-20 times, starting with the other leg.
22. Musical Statues
You can play this game with your grandchildren. By alternating between vigorous movement and stillness, you can improve your balance while also getting a small cardiovascular workout.
23. Chair Leg Lifts
You can practice this exercise while seated to develop your hip flexors and leg muscles.
- Place your back straight in a chair.
- Now, raise your left leg 5 inches off the ground and keep it there for 5 seconds.
- Return your foot to the ground and do the same with your right leg.
- Do this exercise for 3-5 minutes.
Balance Exercises Using an Exercise Ball
24. Ball Marches
Ball marches are an excellent way to improve balance and stability on your spine.
- Start by sitting up straight on the ball.
- Maintain focus on your core.
- Start your march by slowly lifting each leg a few inches off the ground, one at a time.
- This should be done for about1 to 2 minutes.
25. Sit and Lateral Rock
This workout strengthens your core muscles and increases hip mobility.
- Face forward when seated on an exercise ball.
- When you feel stable, start rocking your hip to the left, then back to the center.
- Spend three minutes doing this exercise to the right.
Exercises for balance help you build stronger muscles, hips, knees, and ankles, which increases your options for a fun workout routine.
Balance Exercise Advantages
Seniors’ quality of life can be enhanced by balance exercises in a number of ways. These activities greatly lower a person’s chances of falling by improving muscle strength, stride, posture, coordination, and confidence. In as little time six weeks, you can achieve this according to studies.
Not only does balance training improve your motor skills, but it also has a positive impact on your cognitive function. We’re not only talking about greater hand eye coordination here; we’re also talking about enhanced spatial awareness and recall.
Some Points to Consider Before You Begin
The CDC advises that seniors engage in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week, in addition to two days of strength training. Due to a chronic disease or a mobility impairment, not all seniors will be able to complete this requirement. As a result, before beginning any type of fitness program, you should contact your doctor.
Balance exercises for the elderly include different levels of difficulty and are great for everyone, including those with disabilities. Elderly persons who are new to the exercises can find a guide on the internet or engage a personal coach or trainer to assist them.
A Note Regarding Balance Exercise Machines
Although you can use a chair, yoga rail, or countertop for support when doing balance exercises, adding some equipment to the mix can make things more fun while also helping you get more out of your workout. If an activity isn’t challenging enough for you, consider using moderate weights or resistance bands to help build muscle strength and make things more enjoyable. An inflatable workout ball, for example, can make your movements more difficult by slightly destabilizing them.
How Can Seniors Improve Their Strength and Balance Through Exercise?
Exercises for increasing balance are especially beneficial for the elderly since they assist develop muscle strength, good posture, flexibility, and coordination.
Is Walking Good to Enhance Balance?
Not only does walking strengthen your lower body muscles, it also helps to improve your overall balance. It is a low-impact cardio activity which means that it is easy on your joints and bones.
What Causes Seniors to Lose Their Balance?
Poor balance in elders is a result of a number of factors, including chronic medical illnesses, cardiac issues, certain drugs, visual impairment, and an aging-related reduction in body functioning.
How Frequently Should You Perform Exercises for Balance?
According to the CDC, seniors should do 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week, as well as two days of strength training. Always speak to your doctor before starting any kind of new workout routine.
Which Vitamin Promotes Balance?
Vitamin D is essential for postural balance. Not only is Vitamin D important for bone health, but studies suggest that a shortage of this vitamin in the body causes impaired muscular performance and falls.