As we age, our bodies change. Most often our balance and posture tends to weaken. If you are experiencing this, don't be discouraged because there are ways you can improve your strength and sense of stability.
Balance exercises for elderly members of society have shown a boost in health and mental benefits and decreases in falls and injuries. It is never too late to begin regaining your balance and stamina.
How Does Balance Work?
Balance is the main factor that allows us to sit, stand or walk without fear of falls or injuries. On a daily basis doing some light at home exercises could help increase coordination and balance.
What Causes Loss of Balance in Elderly?
Elderly persons have many risk factors that cause a loss of balance. Balance disorders can have an adverse effect on mobility. The reasons for these balance problems include:
- Muscle weakness
- Mental disorders such as dementia, delirium or depression
- Fear of falling
- Low vitamin D
Reasons for Falls Among Elders
Besides aging and medication side effects, loss of balance is among the top reasons for falls in seniors. Fear of falling can cripple the mental state of the older population. This fear can lead to isolation and rejection of a regular physical exercise plan.
Consistent exercise can enhance the lifestyle of seniors. By combating the issues surrounding the fear of falling, some stretching exercises for seniors can make activity engaging and fun. Social interaction with yoga and other forms of exercise can improve the mentality and thus the overall lifestyle of senior citizens.
The health benefits of a regular routine are numerous:
Without a balanced diet and exercise routine, the elderly become a higher risk for falling due to a lack of balance.
Can You Regain Your Balance?
Just because your balance is gone, doesn't mean it is gone forever. Believe it or not, there are easy techniques you can practice to slowly regain your steadiness. Whether you are able to do standing exercises or ones with a chair there are exercises out there for everyone. Because balance is categorized as a motor skill, that means you can always maintain or improve it. There are chair exercises out there for seniors that allow those less able to begin a routine and regain strength, flexibility and better mentality.
These can be done in your room or anywhere there is a chair: allowing for all the benefits of a yoga studio and the convenience of being at home.
Continuing these routines over time will help strengthen muscles and bones to increase balance. Learning how to improve balance can decrease the likelihood of a fall and a trip to the emergency room.
Here are 4 exercises for balance you can start with
The flamingo stand is a pretty simple exercise. It sounds exactly what it is…stand like a flamingo. All you do is simply stand on one leg holding onto a chair for balance. Stand on one leg for 10 seconds and then switch legs. It is very important to keep good posture while you are performing this exercise.
Once you get the hang of it you can try to extend your leg forward without letting it touch the ground or by balancing without the help of a chair. This is a good exercise to do while doing the dishes or while waiting in line.
When doing this exercise, the easiest way to think of it, is acting as if you are really on a tightrope. Start by holding your arms out to your side so that they are parallel to the ground. Pause between each step as you try to walk in a straight line.
If you find a spot in straight in front of you it will help you to maintain balance.
Cobbler's pose is a perfect yoga pose for seniors. It helps by opening the hips and allowing increased flexibility.
To accomplish Cobbler’s Pose, you should sit tall on the floor with your back straight. Bring the soles of your feet together and open your knees to the outside. To achieve maximum benefit of this pose, try to hold position for 6 to 8 breaths.
For variations of this pose, you can also bring your feet closer or farther from your hips.
Savasana is the perfect ending exercise because it allows for comfort and relaxation.
To accomplish the Savasana pose, first lie flat on your back with feet slightly apart and take big deep breaths to help you relax. Loosen your whole entire body allowing the floor to support you. Stay in this position for as long as you need to rest.
Yoga for seniors is a great way to maintain a healthy mind and body. Aside from several yoga poses, there are tons of other exercises that can be done to improve balance. By following some of these poses you could be on your way to regaining your balance once again!