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Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises | 11 Reasons | 10 Simple Exercises

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December 2, 2021 0 comments
why should senior citizens perform balance exercises

Why should senior citizens perform balance exercises? 

This is such a common question. And, it is mainly because as people get older, they resort to a sedentary lifestyle. 

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But the more senior citizens resort to a sedentary lifestyle, the more the quality of their life deteriorates. 

You will realize that the regular walks and jogs you had are becoming a hell of an activity. 

You want to retain your mobility. I am sure you have seen people in their 90’s who are still on their feet. And, you have seen those in their 60’s who cannot take it anymore. 

The difference primarily lies in balance exercises. And, the earlier you start, the better. 

 What more do balance exercises have to offer senior citizens?

Read on for more.

Benefits of Balance exercises for Senior Citizens 

happy senior couples after balance exercise sessions

Balance does not come easily for a lot of older adults. Often, they have to think of it before taking part in activities that need proper body control. And still, many times, they end up losing it. It is an unpleasant scenario. (1)

However, getting into an exercise program can help you improve both your life’s physical and cognitive aspects. 

And, there are many benefits of balance exercises for senior exercise. We discuss them in detail below.

Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises?#1: Help with Activities of Daily Living 

a senior citizen grabs veggies in mall to keep up with their balance exercise routine

One of the reasons seniors need to exercise regularly is to keep themselves fit for activities of daily living. 

As you grow older, your balance starts reducing. And simple activities such as getting your groceries from the car can be frustrating. Even the idea of going down a staircase can sound like pure torture. 

 Usually, maintaining balance in senior citizens is difficult. Many feel weak or dizzy while trying to maintain balance. Furthermore, the balance is offset by diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. With these, many senior citizens become helpless. 

It becomes frustrating to know that you need help in simple daily activities such as putting your groceries away. This is why you need to get started on the simple balance exercises. 

Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises?#2: Participate More Confidently in Favorite Activities  

This is another of the physical benefits of balance exercise for older adults. 

As a young person, you played hockey, tennis, golf, or went for daily runs. Maybe you liked cycling around the city. 

But with advancing age, you can no longer take part in the activities you like. The imbalance cannot let you. Therefore, start performing balance exercises if you would love to regain balance and confidence to participate in your favorite exercises. 

Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises?#3: Prevention of Falls 

a senior citizen biohacker fell down on rugs because they couldn't balance their body

Did you know that falls are the top cause of injuries in seniors? The common types of injuries that seniors suffer after falls include:

  • joint injuries, 
  • head injuries, 
  • broken bones. 

All these can reduce the quality of life of a senior. They may end up in a wheelchair. 

As you know, falls are majorly caused by body imbalance. For fall prevention at home for the elderly, balancing exercises will work the magic. They will, therefore, keep you safe from accidents you can easily prevent or decrease the risk of. 

Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises?#3: Lessen the Intensity of Injuries in Case of Falls

Well, the goal here is to prevent falls. 

But sometimes, somehow, accidents still happen. Think of this situation as a road accident. 

The goal is always to prevent road accidents. But they still happen. However, if you had your seat belt on, the accident would become less deadly. Being ejected from the car is almost always fatal. However, having your seat belt secure you to your seat may leave you with minor and easily manageable injuries. 

Now, balance exercises are like seat belts in this situation. They may not prevent falls. But just in case of falls, the injuries won’t be fatal. 

 Research shows that seniors who perform balance exercises are less likely to break their bones when they fall. 

Therefore, it is not all about entirely preventing falls. It also entails reducing the consequences of falls in adults.  

Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises?#4: Enjoy the General Benefits of an Exercise Program. 

senior citizens enjoy balance exercise in the park

Fitness should come smoothly no matter the age. And, this is one of the benefits of doing seniors’ balance exercises. 

And no matter what, the exercise should always feel like play. It should never feel like a task. 

When you perform balance exercises, you:

  • stay fit, 
  • increase your mobility, 
  • improve your body balance and posture, 
  • improve your general body health. 

Therefore, go ahead and earn these benefits of balance exercises. 

Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises?#5: Enjoy Better Reaction Time

What is the reaction time? And why do you need to have a better reaction time? 

A reaction time is a reflex you have to situations around you. When people grow older, their reaction time reduces. For instance, a better reaction time may be quickly grabbing a wall or sturdy furniture to prevent falls. 

You need to improve your reaction time to save yourself from accidents. And, the best way to improve your reaction time is, you have guessed it right…

Practicing balance exercises. 

Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises?#6: Increased Coordination Time 

a senior couples hugs each other after balance exercise in the park

A lot of people take coordination for granted. 

But it can be a lifesaver. 

 Do you know what coordination can do? 

 For instance, with better body coordination, you will be able to roll instead of crashing when you fall. See? And that can save you from fatalities such as broken bones. 

Furthermore, you can coordinate your body to avoid more dangerous zones in case of an accident. For instance, to save your head from the corner of the table in case you crash. 

And, when you perform balance exercises, the coordination comes naturally. You do not need much thought and effort. And all this comes from frequently performing balance exercises. 

Therefore, go strong on exercises for balance and coordination for seniors. 

Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises?#7: Disease Prevention 

We can never insist enough on how dangerous a sedentary life is, especially in your old age.

One of the reasons seniors should exercise is to prevent diseases. With regular exercises, you can keep yourself from:

  • heart diseases, 
  •  diabetes, 
  • cancer.

Furthermore, moderate and gentle exercises help boost the functioning of the immune system. First, they enhance the flow of the lymph fluids. When the pumping action of the muscles moves the lymph fluids, your body immunity is enhanced.

Even gentle exercise such as walking gets your lymph fluid moving. It is a top way of biohacking health. 

Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises?#8: Improved Cognitive Function and Mental 

senior citizens play chess in their balance exercises program

Many people think that balance exercises are just good for physical health. They are a top way of biohacking brain function as they can help transform your mental health too. 

 Let’s face it; old age is accompanied by a lot of issues such as loneliness. And, many senior citizens lose touch with their family and friends. Therefore, a boost in mental health is much needed. 

Balance training enhances the production of serotonin and several other feel-good neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine can help treat severe mental issues such as anxiety and depression. 

Furthermore, repetitive exercises such as swimming, jogging, and walking will help relieve stress. 

 Also, exercises promote blood flow to the brain. With a consistent blood flow to the brain, you are less likely to experience cognitive decline as you age. This way, you can keep making wise decisions and always have a joyful mood. 

Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises?#9: Improved Muscle Mass

Now, building muscle mass is often brushed off as a thing for younger individuals. 

Yes, you can build muscle mass in your senior years. And you can enjoy the benefits of increased muscle mass too. 

 So, what does increased muscle mass have to offer? First, if your muscles have more mass, it means that they are more robust. And, with the mass, they can buffer the impact of any severe injuries. 

With stronger muscles, you can catch yourself and also protect your bones and joints. 

Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises#10: Stronger Bones 

Another benefit you will enjoy from balance exercises for seniors is stronger bones. 

 If you have been looking for how to increase bone density after 60, here you go; start with balance exercises for seniors. Yes, these are among the top bone-strengthening activities at home. 

 Resistance exercises and weight-bearing exercises result in stronger bones. These exercises cause contraction and relaxation of the ligaments that attach muscles to the bones. This gentle contraction and relaxation results in denser bones. 

Denser bones are less likely to break in case of a fall. Therefore, make it your routine to engage in regular exercise. 

Why Should Senior Citizens Perform Balance Exercises#11: Better Sleep 

Plenty of regular exercises is a good way of biohacking sleep. A lot of older individuals are suffering from disrupted sleep patterns. 

Regular exercises alert your body to the time of the day. This means that it helps strengthen your circadian rhythm. 

A better sleep pattern, therefore, means reduced chronic foggy thinking and irritability. All these are mental and mood problems that can be solved by regular deep sleep. 

Top 10 balance Exercises for Seniors at Home

senior citizens lifts dumb bells in their balanced exercises therapy session

Now, let’s get this straight, not all exercises are suitable for seniors. Some may even result in serious injury, and that is what we are trying to avoid here. (2)

And, this is why you may want to visit your physical therapist before you start your exercise program. 

 Also, you do not want to go far from the goal of your exercise program, which is achieving better balance. 

We, therefore, show you friendly and straightforward balance exercises for seniors. Follow the exercises below to get them back the balance of your youthful years. 

Balance Exercises For Senior Citizens #1: Single-Leg Stance

This is a straightforward exercise you can do in the comfort of your house. 

The exercise is as simple as standing on one leg. The goal here is to try and maintain the balance. However, if you are worried that you will fall over, you can hold onto a chair or a wall. 

How to do the Single leg stance:

  • Stand on your dominant leg, and lift the less dominant leg. 
  • Ensure you keep your weight over your ankles. While at this, try to feel the balance point. 
  • As you gain confidence in the exercise, start incorporating variations. Try bending your knee higher, raise one arm, keep your arms straight by your side(if you are not holding onto a chair or a wall. 
  • As you balance, try to look straight ahead. Vision and balance have a connection. Pick something ahead of you and focus on it. 
  • Then, lift a leg and hold it up, either in front of you or behind you. 
  • Start with 10 seconds per leg and then work your way out to 1 minute per leg. 

You can see you don’t have to go tough on strength training. 

Balance Exercises For Senior Citizens #2: Staggered Stance 

This is one of the best step exercises for seniors. Also, if you are looking for exercises for weak legs in seniors, consider including a staggered stance in your exercise program. 

As you grow older, you lose one balance skill, which is walking in a straight line. And, this is what the staggered stance will help you achieve. 

Follow these steps:

  • Place your arms by your side and balance against a wall. 
  • Pick your right foot and place it in front of your left foot. Use your hands to balance in case you need to. 
  • Start by balancing for 10 seconds before increasing up to a minute. Then, shift to have the left leg in front of the right leg. 

This is an easy workout that will help you walk into a straight line again. 

Balance Exercises For Senior Citizens #3: Clock Reach 

Another exercise that would help you past balance problems is the clock reach. Think of it as using your arms to imitate the arms of a clock. 

Here is how to execute it:

  • Stand straight and use one arm to support yourself on the back of a chair. 
  • Now, move the free arm like the hour arm of the clock. Noon is straight in front of you. Then, 3:00 is on the side, and 6:00 is at your back. 
  • At noon, lift your foot to try and create more balance. Keep your leg lifted as you move your arm to the other hours. 
  • Repeat this 5-10 times. 

This is a simple standing exercise for seniors to regain their body balance. 

Balance Exercises For Senior Citizens #4: Eye Tracking 

Vision and eyesight work hand in hand with balance. Therefore, if you are looking for sitting exercises for seniors, you may want to include eye tracking in your routine. 

Here is a simple way to build the collaboration between your vision and body balance:

  • Sit straight up on a chair. 
  • Hold your right thumb in front of your face with your elbow bent. 
  • Rotate the thumb from left to right. Follow the rotation with your eyes. In all this, ensure your head remains still. 
  • You can change the rotation from right to left. Repeat the movement with your eyes while keeping your head still. 

This may come out as super simple, but it does prepare you for other balance exercises and activities. 

Exercise #5: Balancing Wand 

To balance a wand, you will need something like a stick. You can improvise with a meter rule or a long cooking spoon. It just has to be lightweight.

Here is how to execute the balancing and move:

  • Sit upright on an armless chair. 
  • Stand your Wand on your right or left arm, whichever is dominant. The Wand should be on your palm. 
  • Try and balance the Wand as long as you can. You can move your hand around as much as needed. 

You can try other variations, such as using the less dominant hand or the back of your arm. 

Exercise #6: Knee Marching 

If you are searching for a simple workout that is mild and low impact on weaker muscles, knee marching will work well for you. And above all, this exercise would help improve your balance.

 Furthermore, it will help you improve strength in your legs, hips and ankles. All these muscles are essential for body balance. 

 One unique thing about knee marching? The slower you do the knee marching, the more difficult it gets. This is contrary to many other exercises. 

Here is how to execute knee marching:

  • Stand facing forward. Position your arms by your sides, and your feet should be together. 
  • Then, lift one knee as high as you can. Then, redo the same procedure with the other leg. It should come out like you are marching. 
  • Slow down the lifting process to make exercise more challenging if you are up for the challenge. 

You can repeat this 20 times in every session. 

This is a good leg strengthening exercise after being bedridden. 

Exercise #7: Body Circles

This is another standing exercise for seniors you could use to improve body balance. You, however, can do body circles while seated. 

Body circles are suitable for improved ankle strength. Ankle strength is a critical element for body balance. Here is how to execute body circles:

  • Stand upright and have your arms on your sides. There should be a comfortable distance between your feet. A should be perfect. 
  • Keep your body straight. Then, begin to slowly sway your body in a circle. Sway forward, then to the side, then to the back, and finally back to the front again. You can start in the clockwise direction. 
  • Keep the circling before switching to another anticlockwise direction. 

You can have a chair to provide support if you need it. For the seated version of this exercise, it is better to use a stool and not a chair. 

Exercise #8: Heel to Toe

 This exercise is ideal for seniors who have already been doing other balance exercises. This is because it is more advanced if you would love to improve your confidence with daily activities such as walking and jogging. 

For this exercise, you’ll need a rope, string or tape. You will use this to create a ‘line.’

 Here is how to do the heel-toe exercise:

  • Start by standing on the line you make using your rope, string or tape measure. Have one foot in front of the other, heel touching the toes. 
  • Take one step forward on the line. Start by looking down to see where you step. However, as you advance, look ahead to make it more challenging. 
  • Keep taking steps till you reach the end of the line. Then come back. 

Exercise #9: Penetrating Heaven and Earth 

This is a perfect exercise to help strengthen the shoulders. Here is how to do it:

  • Stand straight and position your hands by your side and with a foot’s hip-width. 
  • Keep a continuous motion without stopping.
  • Move your hands towards each other, palms facing the sky, and then raise them to your chest. Your fingertips should almost touch. 
  • Then, raise the right arm as you lower the left. The right arm goes straight over your head, the palm facing up. The left moves down extended by your side. 
  • Bring both arms back to the palm up a position at your chest. 
  • Repeat the exercise, but now raise the left arm and lower the right arm. 
  • Then have them back to the chest. 
  • Repeat this 20 times per session. 

This will help the shoulders take up their role in body balance. 

Balance Exercises For Senior Citizens #10: Rock the Boat

This is another exercise you can use to improve the vision and balanced partnership. And, you can also use it to prepare for more challenging balance exercises. 

here is how to rock the boat:

  • Stand straight with your hands holding the back of a chair. Keep your feet should width apart. 
  • Lift your dominant leg to your side, as far and high as you can, but without moving your hips. Hold it in that position for 8-10 seconds. 
  • Repeat 5-10 times for one side, and do the same for the other side. 
  • To make it a little more complex, hold the chair with one hand and finally let go of the chair altogether. 

Muscle Recovery

One thing about exercising is you need to be consistent. You otherwise would not see any results after a day. 

What is one thing that keeps you inconsistent? 

For many people, it is the painful muscles they get after exercising. The swollen and inflamed muscles won’t let you get back to the exercise again and again. Where would you even get the motivation to do the balance exercises if your muscles were on fire? 

A daily dose of magnesium bioptimizers would help you a great deal in your new exercise program. 

Here is how magnesium bioptimzers can transform your journey altogether:

  • Help you sleep better and thus refresh and re-energize you to keep doing the exercises, 
  • Soothes your muscle after exercise sessions, 
  • Can help you lose some weight while at it, 
  • Help you manage blood sugar levels, 
  • Increase metabolism rate, 
  • More energy to exercise, 
  • Stronger bones, 
  • Improved blood pressure.

Now, if you would love a personal supporter in your balance exercises, go the magnesium bioptmizers way.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

The question of senior citizens and exercises has always been a delicate one. And, the issue of having to regain lost balance makes it even more complicated. We, therefore, answer a few FAQs below in the hope that we clear any pending doubts.

Why Should Senior Citizens Perform balance?

Balance exercises have a lot of proven health benefits for senior citizens. The benefits are both mental and physical. They include:

  • ability to avoid falls, especially because senior citizens are more susceptible to falls, 
  • gain the ability to fall gracefully and prevent severe injuries in case of a fall, 
  • build muscle mass, 
  • prevent diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases, 
  • biohack stress and improve general mental health, 
  • sleep better, 
  • strengthen your bones and joints, 
  •  gain confidence and energy to participate in favorite activities such as tennis. 

Why is it Important for Older Adults to Perform Daily Balance exercises?

It is essential to perform daily balance exercises to keep up with consistency. This ensures you don’t get off track. We encourage you to dedicate a few minutes per day to balance exercises. However, if you cannot exercise daily for some reason, try to ensure you do it at least thrice a week. The frequency helps keep you on the right track. 

What are the Common Health Problems Caused by Lack of Exercise in the Elderly? 

Lack of exercise in your advanced years makes you more vulnerable to:

  • different forms of cancer, 
  • diabetes, 
  • heart diseases and increased risk of heart attack, 
  • increased blood pressure, 
  • stress and depression. 

Final Thoughts

 It is now clear to you why senior citizens need to do balance exercises. And, as you can see, you do not need to go to the gym to do all these. Doing these simple exercises a few times a week can help you maintain or reclaim your balance. 

 However, you may feel weak and dizzy, especially after leading a long sedentary life. And, your muscles may be on fire after every workout session. The secret is to support your journey with magnesium bioptimizers. 

Your workout and fitness journey would appreciate every part of it. 

Go ahead, transform your physical and mental health!

 

Sources

  1. https://study.com/academy/answer/why-should-senior-citizens-perform-balance-exercises.html
  2. https://www.lifeline.philips.com/resources/blog/2018/07/14-exercises-for-seniors-to-improve-strength-and-balance.html

 

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