HEALTH: Maintain good balance with these 4 easy exercises

HEALTH: Balance Exercises
Source: ‘Pensioner Fitness,’ Ian McClymont

Good Balance
Maintaining good balance is a fundamental aspect of senior well-being. As we age, changes in muscle strength and flexibility can impact our stability, increasing the risk of life-threatening falls. Also, many falls happen in the home, especially after waking up. However, the good news is that balance can be improved and maintained through targeted exercises.

  1. Romberg balanced stance
    The person is asked to stand with his two feet together. The arms are held next to the body or crossed in front of the body.
    The subject must first stand quietly with eyes open,
    The subject tries to maintain his or her balance.
    For safety, the subject must stand close to a wall or chair for support. the subject to prevent potential injury if the subject were to fall. When the subject closes his eyes, he should not orient himself by light, sense, or sound,
    The Romberg stance is scored by counting the seconds the person can stand with eyes closed. Practise each day.

  2. Single-leg stance
    Stand upright with your feet together. Remain safe while performing this; have a stable object like a chair or kitchen counter nearby so you can grab it if you start to feel unsteady.
    Lift one foot off the ground. Do not to allow your legs to touch (this may give you extra stability).
    Watch a clock to see how many seconds you can stand on one foot and record this number.
    If you can stand on one foot for 10 seconds, practice each day to reach 30 seconds
    Why this is important: You stand on one leg every time you take a step or walk up and down stairs. Don’t underestimate the importance of the single-leg stance exercise!

  3. The Tandem Stance
    Stand with one foot in front of the other so you are in a “heel-toe” position. If this is too difficult initially, move your feet apart slightly. Use a counter or chair for support, as needed. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds on each side. But practise to increase the time each day.
    Why this is important: This exercise is great because it puts your body into a narrow stance. With a decreased base of support, you will challenge your muscles to keep you centered!

  4. Mini Lunges
    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. While holding onto a counter or firm surface, step forward and bend your front knee slightly. Return to your starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.
    The lunge does not need to be deep. If you experience increased knee or hip pain, modify this exercise by holding onto a counter and taking smaller steps.
    Perform mini lunges on each leg. Practice this each day.
    Why this is important: This exercise strengthens the legs while simulating forward stepping motion. If you sometimes stumble forward, this exercise will help you practice catching yourself before you would actually fall!
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