Physical activity is just as important for seniors as it is for younger generations. As you advance in age, it’s natural to lose flexibility and mobility and your balance will not be what it used to be. For that reason, falls and slips are common among seniors. Too often, these falls result in severe injuries that leave seniors scouring the net for mobility aids reviews to help them cope with their new limitations.
Adding a few simple and easy mobility and balance exercises for senior citizens can help improve strength and flexibility and help avoid major problems down the road. Let’s take a look at a few good options.
Single leg stance
This is a simple exercise that can help improve your balance as you get older. To do it, stand behind a chair and hold on to it. Lift the right leg making sure that you are balancing on the left foot. Hold for as long as possible before switching to the other foot. When you are doing this exercise, aim to stand on a single foot when you are not holding on to the chair and hold the stretch for about a minute.
Back leg raises
This is a strength training exercise that targets your lower back to improve mobility as well as balance. Stand behind a steady chair and then slowly lift the right leg straight behind you. When you are doing this, make sure that you are not bending at the knees and that the feet are facing forward. Hold the pose for about a second before bringing the leg back down. Do at least 15 repetitions per leg.
This is a strength training routine that you can do at home to improve your balance. Stand in front of a wall and lean forward putting your palms on the wall at the width and height of the shoulders. With your feet planted firmly on the ground, bring your body forward towards the wall and then push yourself back gently so that the arms are straight when doing so. Do at least 20 repetitions.
If you want to improve your mobility, side bends are great since they help strengthen your core. Find a chair and sit down with your feet firmly planted on the ground. In that position, place one of your hands behind the head and outstretch the other one to the side. Lean over to the side so that it looks like you are reaching towards the ground. As you are doing that, contract the abdominal muscles before returning to the original position. The goal of the exercise is to make sure that the chest doesn’t fall forward and that the entire foot is on the floor all the time.
Lower back rotations
This exercise routine targets the lower back to increase mobility and flexibility, reduce back pain and improve your motion range.
Sit on a steady chair with your back straight and the feet firmly planted on the ground. In that position, rotate the upper body so that the shoulders rotate to the left. For a deeper stretch, you can use your legs for support or the chair. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds before resuming the starting position and repeating on the other side.
Rock the boat stretch
Stand with the feet slightly apart (hip-width) making sure that the feet are flat on the floor. Lift the arms extending them out to your sides and then start by lifting your left floor off the ground. While doing that, bend slightly at the knees so that the heel comes towards your bottom. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds and then do the same with the other leg making sure that you do at least 3 sets of that.
The heel to toe walk
This exercise is meant to strengthen your leg muscles to minimize your risk of slipping and falling as you get older. Put the right foot in front of the left one such that the heel touches the top of your left foot toes. When in that position, move the left foot in front of the right one making sure that you are putting the weight on the heel. After that, shift the weight to the toes and repeat the same step with the left foot. Do at least 20 steps.
Balance and mobility are likely to decline as you get older. Incorporating physical activity will help you remain healthy and independent. All the above mobility and balance exercises will help improve your posture, strength, coordination, and stability.