5 Balance Exercises for Senior
Dec 20, 2023
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Human balance, on the one hand, refers to static balance, that is, the human body maintains a posture or is in a stable state; on the other hand, it refers to dynamic balance, that is, the human body can automatically adjust, maintain posture, and return to a stable state when it is in motion or subjected to external forces.
As people age, their balance gradually declines and they are prone to falls. According to survey results, 30% of people over 65 years old and 50% of people over 85 years old fall at least once a year, and 4-15% of falls will cause major injuries. Therefore, the elderly should strengthen their balance ability and reduce the occurrence of falls.
Exercise has the effect of delaying the decline of the balance ability of the elderly and reducing the rate of falls. What kind of exercise can improve balance?
Lower body strength exercises, joint stability exercises, these types of exercises can increase motor control and exercise balance. The joint stability and muscle strength of the lower limbs are closely related to the upright posture and stability of the human body. In static squatting and standing on one leg, the lower limbs often maintain the state of isometric contraction. On the one hand, it exercises the stability, strength and endurance of the joints of the lower limbs. On the other hand, it can strengthen the proprioceptors around the joints, thereby improving balance.
Here are some ways to exercise your balance:
① To carry out balance exercises, choose suitable shoes to ensure good friction with the ground, and try to wear sports shoes. Do not wear loose shoes and tie your laces well.
②Ensure that the ground in the activity area is clean, flat and free of debris.
③ The activity area can be near the wall or other objects that can help maintain balance, and balance exercises should be performed under the premise of supervision as much as possible.
④Slow movement, natural breathing, do what you can, step by step.
⑤If you have definite symptoms, abnormal blood pressure, poor eyesight, or frequent falls, follow the doctor's advice and carefully perform balance exercises.
1 Squat against the wall
- Stand close to a wall (with protection if possible), feet shoulder-width apart, and arms crossed over your shoulders.
- Keep your back against the wall, squat down slowly, keep your knees below your toes, squat until your thighs are at 45° to the ground, keep still, keep your lower back close to the wall, and feel the muscle force around your knees.
- After 20 seconds of squatting, stand up slowly and rest. Practice 1-2 groups.
2 lifting on the same side
- Place a reclining chair obliquely in front of your body. With one hand on the back of the chair, lift the other arm straight up to the ceiling and hold.
- Then straighten the leg on the same side as the raised arm and raise it about 45° (it can also be slightly lower), keep standing on one leg for about 10-15 seconds, and then put it down.
- Do the exercise on the other side. Practice 1-2 groups.
3 Turn your head and look at your shoulders
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your arms naturally straight on your sides, and your eyes level.
- Slowly turn the head to one side, with the head turning, from top to bottom, drive the neck, thoracic spine, and hips to rotate in turn. After the rotation reaches the end position, look at the shoulder on the same side out of the corner of the eye, hold for 2 seconds, and then slowly return to the starting position, then rotate to the other side.
- After rotating left and right 3 times, rest. Practice 1-2 groups.
4 Heel to toe walking
- Near a wall, or in an open area (protected if possible). Stand with feet shoulder width apart.
- To start the exercise, move one foot to take a step, move the heel of the foot forward to touch the toe of the supporting foot, keep the front and rear feet in a straight line, and move the two feet forward alternately. During walking, raise both arms sideways or one arm hangs down naturally, and hold the other hand against the wall or use other objects to maintain balance.
- During the completion of the movement, keep the body upright, walk for 15-30 seconds, and practice 1-2 groups. On the premise of ensuring safety, the assistance in the walking process can be reduced, and the difficulty of the exercise can be gradually increased.
5 high leg walk
- Near a wall, or in an open area (protected if possible).
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart. At the beginning of the exercise, one leg is stepped up, the thigh is as flat as possible or higher than the hip, stays for about 1 second, and then slowly falls, the stride is slightly larger than the daily walking, and the legs are alternated to complete the action. Practice 15-30 seconds, practice 1-2 groups.
- Advanced exercise 1: Only practice one side of the leg to complete the high-leg walking action. Advanced exercise 2: One leg completes the stride and raise, then falls, walks 3 steps normally, and then switches to the other leg to complete the stride and raise, which tests balance and coordination.
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