9 Effective Balance Exercises for Seniors

Did you know that one in four seniors Americans over the age of 65 suffer from falls every year? Falling is the leading cause of injuries for seniors. It jeopardizes their independence and safety as it limits their activities. Falls can lead to a hip fracture, a head trauma, or even death. That’s why balance exercises for seniors can make the life of an elderly person so much better.

Incorporating balance exercises for seniors into your loved one’s exercise regimen significantly decreases the risk of falls. Balance exercises coupled with strength exercises improve the body’s capability to control and avoid falling altogether.

Most balance exercises for seniors, including the ones enumerated below, do not require you to enroll in a gym or even leave the comforts of your own home. In fact, you can do these balance exercises anytime, anywhere since it’s as simple as standing on one foot or raising your leg for a few seconds.

Balance exercises for seniors can be done in groups

Disclaimer: Before starting any type of exercise, make sure to consult with your doctor or your healthcare provider to determine whether the exercise is right for your health needs and level of fitness.

Calf Stretches

Seniors may do this exercise either in a standing or sitting position.

A senior may follow these instructions when doing a standing calf stretch:

If a senior chooses to sit while doing a calf stretch, they may do so by following these instructions. While sitting on the floor with your legs straight, place a towel on the sole of your left foot holding both ends of the towel together and pull it towards you. Hold the position for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise at least 4 times on each leg.

Balance Exercise for Seniors: Calf Stretch

While facing the wall, place your hands in front of you, eye level, and put your right leg behind your left leg. Bend your left leg and keep your right foot flat on the floor. Hold this position for about 15 to 30 seconds and repeat at least 4 times on each leg.

Balance Exercises for Seniors: Standing Calf Stretch

Clock Reach

The purpose of this exercise is to improve your standing balance and improve the strength of the muscles in your hip and ankles. You’ll need to grab a chair for this exercise.

Begin by grasping the chair with your left hand. Visualize yourself standing at the center of a very big clock. Imagine 12 o’clock is in front and 6 o’clock behind you.

Balance Exercises for Seniors: Clock Stretch

Stand on your left leg and start lifting your right leg so that it creates a 90-degree angle. Then, extend your right arm to 12 o’clock and slowly move it towards 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock. Bring your arm from 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock. Do this step at least twice before switching to the other side. Repeat the same steps on the left leg.

Shoulder Rolls

This simple exercise for seniors may be done while sitting or standing.

To start, relax your arms then lift your shoulder up and bring it back down. Then, rotate your shoulders from the front and then back. Do exercise at least 8 times.

Balance Exercises for Seniors: Shoulder Stretch

Balancing Wand

This balance exercise for seniors is important as it reduces the risk of  falling.

The seniors may be able to do this exercise while sitting or standing. To do this, you will need a stick, such as a broom.

Hold the stick with your dominant hand. While placing one end at your palm, start balancing the stick. Breathe in through your nose and out with your mouth. Take it up a notch and use your non-dominant hand when balancing.

Balance Exercises for Seniors: Wand

Back Leg Raises

This exercise is designed to develop the strength on your buttocks and lower back.

Stand behind a sturdy chair and hold it for balance. Slowly breathe in and as you breathe out, gradually lift your leg straight back making sure that the leg you are standing in is slightly bent. Keep your lifted feet relaxed. Don’t flex or point it and try not to lean forward. Hold that position for one second before slowly putting your leg down. Repeat 10-15 times before switching to the other leg.

Balance Exercises for Seniors: Back Leg Raises

Hand and Finger Balance Exercises for Seniors

These hand and finger exercises help in increasing flexibility. This may be done while standing or sitting.

The first exercise is very easy. Simply try to touch your left hand with your right hand behind your back. When both hands touch, hold that position for 10 seconds before switching to the other side.

Balance Exercises for Seniors: Finger Exercise

For the second exercise, begin by envisioning a wall in front of you. Slowly work your way up inch by inch using your fingers. When your hands are fully extended, hold that position and wiggle your hands for about 10 seconds before working your way down to your original position.


Balance Exercises for Seniors: Hand & Finger Exercises

Side Leg Raise

For this balance exercise, a chair will be needed for stability.

Stand behind a sturdy chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the chair for balance. While keeping your back straight, breathe in and lift your right leg slowly and breathe out as you put your foot down. Repeat this exercise at least 15 times on each leg.

Balance Exercises for Seniors: Side raises

Rock the Boat

Stand with your feet at shoulders-width apart. Stand straight and keep your eyes forward. Slowly lift your right leg off the ground and remain in that position for as long as possible. Pull it down slowly and do the same thing on the left leg. Slowly put your foot back on the ground, then transfer your weight to that foot.

Balance Exercises for Seniors: Rock the Boat

Do this exercise at least five times for a start and gradually increase your repetitions over time.

Single Limb Stance with Arm

Physical coordination is needed especially by the seniors to prevent them from falling. These balance exercises for seniors are made especially for that purpose.

Start this exercise by positioning your feet together and your arms at your sides. Hold on to a chair so as to stabilize your body. Then, slowly raise your arm above your head and hold it for 10 seconds. Slowly lower your arm and do the same on the other arm.

Balance Exercises for Seniors: Single Limb

A Paradise for Parents knows that it is very important to stay physically fit and healthy especially in our golden years. Our assisted living homes have a personal trainer who works closely with residents to ensure that their physical capabilities are accommodated.

If you want to know more about balance exercises for seniors, or assisted living facilities, A Paradise for Parents staff and our resources can answer all your questions. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (623) 295-9890 or email us at cam@aparadiseforparents.com to know more about the services we offer. You can also fill out an online form located on our homepage. We’d be happy to assist you in your search for an assisted living facility for your loved one.

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From Pilot to Paradise: Meet Hal Cranmer!

From Pilot to Paradise: Meet Hal Cranmer!

Mr. Cranmer went from Air Force Special Operations Pilot to Airline Pilot to running a multimillion dollar manufacturing plant after 9/11 ended his flying career. Now he is bringing his business expertise to his true passion - taking care of seniors in his 'A Paradise for Parents' assisted living homes in Surprise and Goodyear, AZ. Read Hal's crazy career story, 'From Air Force Pilot to Assisted Living Owner'. Click the button to send Hal a message!

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