You can’t always be there. But we can.
Ordinarily, we take our balance for granted, but it is an important and vital part of our daily life. As many as 28% to 45% of elders fall each year due to elderly-balance-decline as we age. Though our balance will decline as we age, balance activities, elderly balance exercises, and elderly balance training can limit the loss or actually improve our performance.
Exercise Tips for Seniors to Maintain Strength, Flexibility, and Balance
Strength training is essential for older people. They need to maintain their muscle mass and avoid bone loss while improving their functional ability and balance. Strength training helps maintain muscle mass, bone density, and strength and enhances the ability to function in daily life, and even improves balance.
The information provided below is strictly for awareness purposes. It is not intended to be a medical advice, either expressed or implied.
1) Cardio Endurance – Get your heart pumping to help lessen fatigue and shortness of breath by walking, stair climbing, swimming, hiking, or dancing.
2) Strength and Power Training – Build up muscle with repetitive motion using weights – or any item with weight including soup cans. External resistance from elastic bands can help. Strength training helps prevent loss of bone mass and improves balance.
3) Balance – Improve your posture and reduce the risk of falling when strengthening your core. Yoga and Tai Chi are recommended. Exercise is the key to staying strong and energetic – and can be fun especially when participating with friends within your community. Try a 10-minute workout twice a day and build up to a tempo that keeps you challenged but doesn’t leave you completely burned out or fatigued. Also, make sure you talk with your doctor before beginning any new exercise plan.
4) Flexibility – Challenge your body to a full range of motion with stationary stretches such as the ones learned in a yoga class. Flexibility increases your range of movement for everything from checking to your left and right when driving to chasing your grandchildren around the park.
5) Walking – The only equipment it requires are your two feet enveloped by comfortable shoes. Walking is the perfect way to ease into a more regular exercise routine.
6) Water Aerobics – Water reduces the stress and strain on the body, so see if a local YMCA or YWCA has classes especially for older adults. A local senior center also may have some suggestions as to where to find low-to-no-cost classes for those on a fixed income.
7) Fitness Classes – Check with your community liaison to find out if and when classes are offered.
A downloadable PDF version of the article is available here.
Sources: https://eldergym.com/elderly-balance, https://www.capitalsenior.com/blogexercise-tips-seniors-maintain-strength-flexibility-balance/, https://www.strengthandconditioningresearch.com/perspectives/strength-training-elderly/
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