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Helpful Balance Exercises for Seniors

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shutterstock_85008562As adults grow older, balance problems can become more frequent. Unfortunately for many seniors, fear of falling can keep them from living their lives fully and staying active. This could be due to vision problems, weak hips and joints, poor posture, or vertigo. To address the problem, there are many exercises seniors can do to improve balance and live a healthier life.
Exercise #1 – Single Leg Stand
This exercise will improve your overall strength and balance. Each time you repeat this exercise, try holding it for a longer period of time.

1. Stand behind a chair with a back.
2. Grasp the back of the chair with both hands and center your weight over your ankles.
3. Slowly lift one foot and stand on one foot for a few seconds.
4. Repeat with the other foot.

Exercise #2 – Staggered Stance Stand
This exercise mimics basic balance postures to eventually improve your balance without the assistance of the chair. When you can comfortably hold this position for 30 seconds with each foot, try and hold it for 45 seconds. You can also vary this exercise by performing with your eyes closed or by turning at the waist.

1. Stand next to a chair with a back.
2. Hold onto the back of the chair with one hand.
3. Step forward with one foot and hold for 30 seconds.
4. Repeat with other foot.

Exercise #3 – Single Limb Stand with Arm
This exercise will improve muscle strength, as well as overall balance. Be sure to keep your eyes open and breath while performing this exercise. Each time you repeat the exercise, try and hold the position for a little longer. To increase the level of difficulty, place small weights on your ankles.

1. Stand next to a chair with a back.
2. Hold onto the back of the chair with one hand.
3. Slowly lift one foot.
4. While holding the foot up, lift your hand and arm on the same side above your head.
5. Hold for a few seconds.
6. Repeat with the other foot and arm.

Exercise #4 – Knee Marching
This exercise will improve muscle strength in your legs and hips, which can help the elderly prevent falls due to poor dynamic muscle coordination. Exercises that mimic walking movements can not only increase muscle strength, but also improve overall balance. To increase difficulty, add one pound weights to ankles.

1. Stand next to a chair with a back.
2. Grasp the back of the chair with one hand.
3. Raise one knee up as high as comfortable.
4. Lower the first knee and raise the opposite knee.
5. Repeat 20 times or as many times as is comfortable.

Exercise #5 – Balance Bar
This can be a very fun exercise and will help coordinate hand and body coordination. For your balance bar, you can use a cane, umbrella, wooden dowel or baseball bat. You can vary this exercise by using your non-dominant hand, balancing your bar on the back of your hand or balancing by using both of your hands.

1. Sit in a chair and center your weight on your hips and seat.
2. Hold the balance bar upright in the flat of your hand.
3. Focus on the top of the balance wand and attempt to hold it in place for at as long as possible.

When you are doing any of the above exercises, make sure you are wearing smooth bottomed shoes. If you do not have access to a chair, kitchen counter tops are a good alternative. You should also have someone close to help you, especially if you have not performed these exercises before.

If you have problems with vertigo, there are other natural solutions that can help you stay active and take care of yourself. Divertigo is a great product that is easy to use and contains all natural ingredients that calm the inner ear, relieving symptoms of vertigo. You can purchase Divertigo in select retail stores or at www.Di-Vertigo.com.

 

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