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Four easy balance training exercises for seniors

October 1st, 2019
Balance Training for Seniors

One of the leading causes of injury in seniors is falling. As our bodies age, our bones can grow more brittle and our muscles, ligaments and tendons become more tense and prone to strains and sprains. As a senior, when you fall, you risk injuring these parts of your body. In worst-case scenarios, you could fall and not be able to get yourself back up to get help.

It’s important for seniors to take measures to improve their balance to help them avoid injuries from falls. If you’re a senior and need help balancing, there are a number of balance training exercises physical therapists can help you safely perform to help you improve your balance.

Balance training for seniors

The following are some common exercises for balance that your physical therapist may guide you through. Your physical therapist will give you more detailed personal instructions, but the general outline here covers what you should expect from these exercises: 

  1. Standing on one foot — Your physical therapist will have you use a sturdy object to help you remain upright while you lift one leg off the floor and balance on one foot. You’ll hold this position for about 30 seconds and then switch legs. Then you’ll repeat three or four times with each leg.
  2. Tandem standing — Again, using a sturdy object for support, your physical therapist will have you stand with the toes of one foot touching the back of the heel of your other foot. You will hold this position for about 30 seconds and then reverse your feet positions. Then, repeat three or four times with each leg.
  3. Head rotating — For this exercise, your physical therapist will have you stand straight with your feet hip width apart. You may hold a sturdy object if you need to, but you may feel comfortable doing this exercise without assistance. While standing, you’ll slowly rotate your head from side to side and up and down while standing as straight and still as possible.
    You will do this for about 30 seconds and then take a break for a minute or two before repeating. If at any point you start to get dizzy, let your physical therapist know.
  4. Marching in place — Your physical therapist will have you stand with your feet hip width apart. You may hold a sturdy object for support if necessary. Lift one leg up, bending at the knee until your thigh is parallel with the floor. Try not to bend at the back or the waist. Your therapist will help you keep your back straight. After your thigh reaches a parallel position, slowly lower your foot back down and switch legs.
    Then, repeat with each leg for a total of 20 marches.

Visit Rehab Access for balance training

Do you have questions about balance training for seniors, or would you like some help from a professional so you can exercise safely? Contact our team today for more information about balance training for seniors or to schedule an initial appointment.

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