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Why Should Seniors Perform Balance Exercises?

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A senior man and a woman smiling while jogging outdoors.

Balance is extremely important in our everyday lives—even if we don’t realize it. And with every new year, it can become more and more essential for our well-being. Taking steps to maintain your balance can also help support your long-term well-being.

Balance exercises can help build the muscles and bone strength needed to help you become more stable and coordinated—and can even give a boost to your overall health and wellness!

Whether it’s stretching at home or attending exercise events in your community, there are several options for maintaining and improving balance for many different lifestyles—and any kind of exercise can be great for helping maintain your health and prevent challenges like falling. 

How Important Is Exercise?

Regular exercise is one of the most crucial parts of maintaining your quality of life. But it’s often ignored. Physical exercise can help keep your heart and body healthy—and even help promote better mental health. And for older adults, it can help improve balance to prevent falls. It’s almost like a magic boost for the body.

The CDC recommends that seniors get the following amount of exercise every week:

  • At least 150 minutes of low-to-moderate intensity exercise like walking, jogging, stretching, or yoga
  • 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise, like running, weight lifting, or hiking

Along with the activities above, the CDC also recommends:

  • 2 sessions of strength training or muscle-building exercises
  • Regular balance activities to support the muscles needed to stay upright

Following a consistent exercise routine can help you build a well-rounded schedule for maintaining your physical health. You don’t have to do it all at once—you can stretch this out around your week so it’s easier—15–30 minutes of exercise a day doesn’t seem too bad when you think about the benefits!

The Link Between Exercise & Better Health

The benefits of physical exercise for older adults aren’t just about preventing falls. Exercise can contribute to many different parts of your wellness and help promote better overall health. 

In addition to helping maintain balance, exercise can help:

  • Improve your cardiovascular health
  • Boost your immune system
  • Improve your mental health
  • Manage your weight

Overall, regular exercise can be a win-win situation. You can maintain your physical and mental health at the same time to support your complete wellness.

How Can Seniors Reduce the Risk of Falls?

Remember: regular exercise can help strengthen muscles and bone strength. This is an essential benefit for seniors—and it’s a key reason for seniors to perform balance exercises regularly.

Balance exercises can strengthen your core and your lower body, which are crucial for your stability and coordination. They can also help you maintain the effective use of your joints and muscles over time. 

Whether it’s chair yoga, slow stretches, or any other kind of exercise, balance exercises can give adults of all ages the tools they need to stay healthy and enjoy their full range of mobility—which also helps reduce the likelihood of experiencing a potentially life-altering fall.

Balance Exercises for Seniors

When you’re thinking about changing up your exercise routine to include balance exercises, try to incorporate:

  • The heel-toe walk: Stand with the heel of one foot against the other. Then, take a small step forward, pressing the heel of your front foot against the toe of your back foot. Continue this for several steps.
  • Single-leg stands: Using a chair, wall, or railing for balance, lift one leg so the other holds most or all of your weight. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.
  • Chair squats: Using a chair, position yourself as though you’re about to sit down. Then, slowly lower yourself and try to stop yourself before you make contact with the chair. Hold the position for a few seconds, then return to standing. Repeat several times.
  • Marching in place: Raise one leg to around hip level, then lower and switch legs. Repeat for 30 seconds or more.

All these exercises can be performed at home, so you won’t need to join a gym or fitness class! They can help you build the muscles you need to safely navigate your world. If you’re feeling like trying something new, you can also always look around and see if there’s a yoga class tailored toward helping seniors improve their balance. Joining a class can be an excellent way to socialize as well!

It can be extremely helpful to speak with your primary healthcare provider and mention that you’re thinking about changing your exercise routine before you start making changes. They may have valuable advice for safely exercising.

A group of seniors in an exercise class smiling and stretching with one hand over their heads

Living a Healthy Life

Balance exercises can offer a simple path to maintaining and improving your health. They’re a small investment with big potential returns—just like a move to our community here at Sugar Loaf Senior Living.

We offer a range of services and programs tailored to helping seniors manage their health safely and effectively, and each resident here gets access to our wellness room, where they can use our on-site equipment. 

If you or a loved one are in need of a senior living community that believes in helping every person live a healthy life, schedule a tour with us today!

Written by Lifespark

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