Falls can be especially dangerous for an older adult. As you grow older, your coordination and reflexes decline and your strength decreases. This is only natural but it may increase the likelihood of falls because of reduced balancing skills. Thankfully, some exercises can help with balance.
However, if you have been experiencing any dizziness or light-headedness recently, you should visit the doctor for a medical examination. Certain medications or underlying conditions may cause an increased risk of fall.
Why It Is Important to Work on Balance?
While you can go to a gym and work out, setting aside half an hour a day to exercise and build muscle can help you with coordination. You can not only reduce your risk of falling but also stay mobile for a longer period of time. These exercises are easy to do at home and do not require getting any fancy new equipment.
Stand On One Leg
Place your hand on top of a table or a desk. Plant one of your feet firmly on the ground and lift the other leg. Hold this position for half a minute and then switch your feet. Once you have mastered this, you can try the exercise without using the table for support. When you are more confident, you can hold the position for longer than 30 seconds.
Rock the Boat
Stand behind a chair or a table with your feet together. Lift one leg to the side. Hold this position for a few seconds before bringing your foot down. Repeat this with your other leg. Do a few reps for each side.
Lay a string or a jump rope on the ground in a straight line. If your floor has markings such as grout lines, you can also follow those. Start at one end of the line, lift your arms for balance, and walk. Try not to veer off the line. Repeat this exercise four times. To make this exercise a little more difficult, hold your foot out for a few seconds every time you take a step.
Keep your feet together while standing up. Take a step to your left and slide your right foot over.
Continue this for a while in one direction. Switch the first foot that you use and move in another direction. Once this becomes easier, you can speed up your footwork.
Sit on a chair without wheels and sit in front of a table. With your feet on the ground, straighten your back and move to sit near the edge of the chair. Lean over the table and shift your weight forward and stand up slowly. After 10 seconds of standing up, slowly sit back down. You may use your hands to hold the table for support. Once you are steadier after having practiced, try not to use your hands.
Through practicing these simple exercises, you should be able to improve your balance and try to prevent falls. You should also incorporate other forms of exercise to improve your overall mobility and motor functions. Be sure to check with your doctor before attempting any kind of strenuous exercise so as not to injure yourself.