balance exercises for seniors

We rely on our balance to keep us upright and stable. But as we age, the systems that support us begin to lose their solid foundation, making us more likely to fall. About one-third of adults age 65 and over fall each year. Falls can lead to bone fractures, resulting in disability, loss of independence, and even death.

Balance exercises for seniors improve stability and lower body strength, and help prevent falls. Do these exercises at least twice a week.

A few sample balance exercises for seniors include: Heel-to-toe walk. Walk with the heel of one foot directly in front of the toe of the other foot. Take 20 steps. Stand on one foot. Lift one foot off the ground. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Place the foot back down on the floor. Repeat 10 to 15 times on each leg. Back leg raises. Lift one leg straight out to the back. Hold for one second, and then lower. Repeat 10 to 15 times on each leg. Side leg raises. Lift one leg out straight out to the side. Hold for one second, and then lower. Repeat 10 to 15 times on each leg. Leg lift with biceps curl. Stand with one leg raised, bent at the knee. With the same arm as the leg that is raised, do a biceps curl with a light weight. Repeat 10 to 15 times on each side.

When you start doing these balance exercises, hold on to a chair for support. Gradually, as you become stronger and sturdier, you should be able to let go.

Before you start balance exercises or any other new activity program, check with your doctor. Make sure all the exercises you choose are safe for you, and that you?re doing them correctly. If you still feel very wobbly after doing these exercises, check with your doctor. You could have a balance disorder, such as an infection or other problem with the inner ear.

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