Workouts are important at all times of life, but especially as you age. Ramping up your workouts is important in your senior years, as physical activity can improve your flexibility and reduce the risk of some health conditions.
Being mobile, strong, and steady on your feet can help you stay independent, which can boost your confidence and well-being as you get older.
Along with chronic illness, the following conditions may cause balance concerns:
- cardiovascular disease
- vision impairment
- medication side effects
Read on to learn how to improve your balance as your age, and what exercises help improve balance.
7 Workouts To Strengthen Senior Stability
Workout 1: Single Limb Stance
It’s best to start off with a simple balance exercise for seniors. Here’s how you do this one: stand behind a steady chair (not one with wheels) and hold on to the back of it. Lift your right foot and balance on your left foot. Hold that position for as long as you can, then switch feet.
The goal should be to stand on one foot without holding onto the chair and hold that pose for up to a minute.
Workout 2: Walking Heel to Toe
You might read this and wonder, “How is walking an exercise to improve balance?” This exercise strengthens your legs, which enables you to walk without falling.
Put your right foot in front of your left foot so that the heel of your right foot touches the top of the toes of your left foot. Move your left foot in front of your right, putting your weight on your heel. Then, shift your weight to your toes. Repeat the step with your left foot. Walk this way for 20 steps.
Workout 3: Rock the Boat
Stand with your feet apart, so that the space between them is the same width as your hips. Make sure both feet are pressed into the ground firmly. Stand straight, with your head level. Then, transfer your weight to your right foot and slowly lift your left leg off the ground. Hold that position for as long as possible (but only 30 seconds).
Slowly put your foot back onto the ground, then transfer your weight to that foot. Slowly lift your opposite leg. Start by doing this exercise for balance five times per side, then work your way up to more repetitions.
Workout 4: Clock Reach
You’ll need a chair for this exercise.
Imagine that you are standing in the center of a clock. The number 12 is directly in front of you and the number 6 is directly behind you. Hold the chair with your left hand.
Lift your right leg and extend your right arm so it’s pointing to the number 12. Next, point your arm towards the number three, and finally, point it behind you at the number 6. Bring your arm back to the number three, and then to the number 12. Look straight ahead the whole time.
Repeat this exercise twice per side.
Workout 5: Back Leg Raises
This strength training exercise for seniors makes your bottom and your lower back stronger.
Stand behind a chair. Slowly lift your right leg straight back – don’t bend your knees or point your toes. Hold that position for one second, then gently bring your leg back down. Repeat this ten to 15 times per leg.
Workout 6: Single Limb Stance with Arm
This balance exercise for seniors improves your physical coordination.
Stand with your feet together and arms at your side next to a chair. Lift your left hand over your head. Then, slowly raise your left foot off the floor. Hold that position for ten seconds. Repeat the same action on the right side.
Workout 7: Side Leg Raise
You’ll need a chair for this exercise to improve your balance.
Stand behind the chair with your feet slightly apart. Slowly lift your right leg to the side. Keep your back straight, your toe facing forward, and stare straight ahead. Lower your right leg slowly. Repeat this exercise ten to 15 times per leg.