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The Shore Life Blog

How to Improve Balance for Seniors

Healthy Aging | 12/6/19


Senior woman performing a balance exercise.

Have you ever lost your footing or hit a particularly slippery section of the floor? The adrenaline may lead to some arm flailing, but often we are able to catch ourselves before causing serious injury.

As we age, though, it may become increasingly difficult to catch our balance. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one out of four older people falls each year.

Though our balance may decline as we age, there are exercises and activities that we can participate in to improve our strength and stability. Keep reading to find a few recommended balance exercises for seniors that may help you avoid a serious fall.

Balance and Strength Exercises for Seniors

  • Single-Leg Stand: A great beginner balance exercise is the single-limb stance. For this exercise, simply hold on to a chair and lift your right leg, balancing on your left leg. Hold for a few seconds and then lower your right leg. Switch sides and lift your left leg, and then hold for a few seconds before lowering your left leg back down to the ground. Repeat as necessary. As you get stronger, perform this exercise without holding on to the chair.
  • Toe Taps: Stand in front of a staircase or a low piece of furniture, like a short stepping stool. Slowly raise one foot and tap the tip of your toes on the step directly in front of you, then return your foot to the floor. Try 15 to 20 taps, and then repeat the exercise on the other foot. For added stability, hold on to a wall or piece of furniture.
  • Standing Marches: Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Raise one leg in a marching motion with your thigh parallel to the floor and torso straight, then lower your leg. Alternate legs and repeat the exercise for about 20 marches.
  • Heel-Toe Walk: With a clear path in front of you, walk as if you are on a tightrope with your eyes facing forward. Place one foot in front of the other so that the heel of your front foot is touching the toes of your back foot. If you can’t get your heel and toes to touch, try to get them as close as they can be to touching. Repeat this exercise for 15 to 20 steps each way.

Although these are a few common balance exercises to begin with, always be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about concerns over loss of balance. They’ll have the best insight into your personal history and situation and will be better equipped to offer balance exercises suited to fit your needs.

Learn How to Improve Wellness at The Moorings at Lewes

At The Moorings at Lewes, our holistic wellness program LivWell allows you to focus on all seven dimensions of wellness. Since LivWell is personalized to your goals and interests, our team members work with you to incorporate activities that can help you achieve your goals. For example, if one of your goals is to improve balance, we may recommend you check out our Body Balance or Tai Chi classes.

In our community, wellness is engrained in everything we do. Contact us today to learn more or schedule your personal tour.