It's important to maintain good balance throughout your life, and especially, in your senior days. Doing daily balance exercises can help prevent our loved ones from falling, injuring themselves, and ending up in the hospital or permanently losing their independence.
Are you worried about your aging parents' balance? Not sure what they should do to improve it?
Here are some tips to improve balance!
Good balance makes everyday life easier
As you get older, simple activities that you used to take for granted, such as bending over to tie your shoes, showering, or reaching for a book on the top shelf, become increasingly more difficult. If your balance is shaky, any wrong twist or turn can potentially lead to a fall. Remember, it's easier to do the work to prevent a fall, rather than recover from the damage after the fall!
A simple daily practice of standing on one foot while holding onto a chair or the kitchen counter for support can make a big difference to your balance in the long run.
It also leads to more exercise
Once you have your balance under control, staying active and exercising daily become easier goals to attain. We all know that a good diet and frequent exercise are important for a happy and healthy life, no matter what your age, but it's even more vital for our seniors.
Regular exercise helps you to maintain a healthy weight, and has a positive impact on your immune system and state-of-mind. Having good balance is the first step to building the confidence to attempt long, neighborhood walks or splashing around in the pool with the grandkids. After balance is mastered, seniors can work on strength and endurance exercises to keep an active and independent lifestyle.
You can work on your balance alone or with friends
Most people find that if they have a buddy to work out with, they tend to do it more consistently, and this goes for balance exercises, too! If you're home alone, you can work on your balance by walking heel-to-toe in a straight line between two points or lifting a foot one-at-a-time without holding onto anything with your hands.
Once you feel confident in your abilities, go with a friend to a chair yoga class, Zumba, or even tai chi to continue to build-up your balance. Not only will you be exercising, burning calories, and learning new skills, but you will be spending quality time with others, outside the home. Don't forget, just because you're a senior, doesn't mean you shouldn't have a social life.
When it comes to good balance, remember that practice makes perfect! Don't get discouraged if it doesn't come as naturally to you as it did in your younger days. Just because you've lost it temporarily, doesn't mean you can't work to get it back.
Do you have any other successful balance exercises to share with our Volusia County seniors? Let us know!