The Best Balance and Strength Exercises for Seniors
It’s no surprise that falls are one of the main causes of injuries in seniors. Whether it’s falls inside the home or weather-related outdoor falls, seniors need to be careful. Luckily, there are ways seniors can reduce their risk of injury by staying active and improving their balance and overall strength.
Exercise has a wide array of health benefits for seniors. Not only can exercise reduce the risk of strokes, dementia and heart disease, but it can also help to build confidence, independence, and quality of life. But what exercises are the best for seniors?
Top Balance Exercises for Seniors
If you are looking to stay in shape and improve balance, there are some specific exercises you should incorporate into your daily routine. Even just incorporating a few of these exercises can help you improve your balance, core strength and confidence.
- Single-Leg Stand – Stand behind a chair or counter and hold on with one hand. Lift up either your left or right foot and balance for as long as you can and then switch sides.
- Heel to Toe – Put your right foot in front of the left with your heel touching your toes. Move your left foot in front of the right, putting your weight on your heel. Start by trying to do 20 steps like this and work your way up.
- Single-Leg Raises – Stand behind a sturdy chair or counter. Slowly raise one leg up and straight back. Don’t bend your knee or point your toes. Hold for a few seconds and then switch sides. Aim for 15 reps on each side.
- Side Leg Raises – Stand behind a sturdy chair or counter. Slowly raise one leg to the side. Keep your back straight and toes facing forward. Hold for a few seconds and then switch sides. Aim for 15 reps on each side.
- Wall Pushups – An excellent strength training exercise, stand in front of a blank wall and lean forward with your palms flat against the wall. Keep your feet planted and slowly bring your body towards the wall. Push yourself back up to a straight stance and repeat 20 times.
- Toe lifts – Stand behind a sturdy chair or counter. Lift yourself up on your toes as high as you can and slowly lower yourself back down. Try to stand as straight as possible and repeat 20 times.
- Tightrope Walk – Hold your arms out to your sides. Walk in a straight line and pause for one to two seconds each time you lift a foot off the ground. Keep your head straight out in front of you and do your best to avoid wobbling. Aim for 15-20 steps.
- Balancing a Prop – Using a cane, umbrella, broom or other long stick, sit on a chair. Hold the base of the stick in the palm of your hand for as long as possible. Switch hands to practice balance on both sides of the body.
- Calf Stretch – Stand facing a blank wall with your hands at eye level. Place your left leg behind your right. Keep your left heel on the floor and bend your right knee. Hold that stretch for as long as you can and switch to the other side.
- Shoulder Rolling – Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and eyes facing forward. Rotate your shoulders up to the ceiling and back down. Try rolling them forward and then backward to get a full range of motion. Repeat for a minute in each direction.
A good exercise routine involves a variety of balance, strength and cardio exercises. Make sure that some of these exercises make the cut to help you stay strong and independent all year long.
Pursue Health and Wellness at St. Joseph of the Pines
St. Joseph of the Pines offers a variety of amenities, services and group activities to help you explore new hobbies, pursue a healthier lifestyle and focus on your overall wellness. Our continuum of care is designed to offer you peace of mind now and well into the future. Let us take you and your loved one on a tour one of our North Carolina campuses to learn more about what we have to offer.