041022 Balance exercises for older adults
In the northern tier of our country, snow is now here or soon to be coming shortly. It is the time of slippery conditions, a perfect time to review our balance or lack of for the season.
Balance exercises help prevent falls, a common problem in older adults that can have serious consequences. A bit of background. The last time I saw my physician she had me do a series of balance exercises in the hallway. These exercises included walking a straight line down the hall, heel to toe, walking on my heels, on my toes, and on the outer edges of my feet. And for your inquiring mind these were not field sobriety tests!
Many lower-body strength exercises also will improve your balance. Balance exercises include:
Tai Chi, a “moving meditation” that involves shifting the body slowly, gently, and precisely, while breathing deeply.
Standing on one foot.
The heel-to-toe walk.
The balance walk.
Standing from a seated position.
o Put both of your hands on the arm rests
o Place your feet shoulder width apart
o Lean forward and move your butt to the edge of the chair
o And stand up
• Practice standing up without using your hands or arms
• Lean forward a tad and as you lean begin to push the floor with your feet and then use your legs to stand up.
• Have a sturdy chair or a person nearby to hold on to if you feel unsteady.
• Talk with your doctor if you are unsure about a particular exercise.