One hazard that definitely increases with age is the possibility of taking a tumble and falling over, sometimes causing serious injury. Often, the increased risk of falling is due to a number of factors which include stiffness in the joints, a lack of balance and flexibility, reduced muscle tone and strength, medications and other contributing factors.
Exercise can be a vital part of preventing falls for older adults. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some simple fall prevention exercises for seniors that will help combat the factors that often contribute to falls in the first place.
1. Sit and Stand
When it comes to strength and balance exercises to prevent falls, the simple sit and stand exercise can be effective, particularly in building up the strength of leg muscles. Using a sturdy chair with a seat at a comfortable height, sit with the feet flat on the ground. Move forward on the seat, lean your chest out over your toes, squeeze those glutes and rise into a standing position.
If you need to, have a stable support, such as a table, in front of you to grab hold of for balance if you’re struggling a little.
It’s like doing a squat, but with the aid and comfort of a chair to rest on between repetitions. It’s a simple exercise that can be very effective.
Try and repeat the exercise at least ten times, increasing the number of reps over a few days as you gain leg strength and balance.
2. Balance Exercise – Feet Apart
This is one of the best fall prevention balance exercises for seniors and it’s quite simple once you get accustomed to it.
You want to stand with your feet shoulder width apart, keep your eyes open and look straight ahead. Try and hold your body steady for ten seconds and gradually work your way up to thirty seconds.
Not only does this very simple exercise improve your balance, it trains the muscles in your body to be more rigid and improves the strength of the core muscles; something that’s vitally important for good balance.
Do this every day and you’ll soon reap the benefits of exercise in falls prevention.
3. Balance Exercise – Feet Together
Very similar to the second balance exercise above, in this one, you stand with your feet close together, maintaining your balance for ten seconds and slowly increasing the time to thirty seconds.
An alternative to this is to do the exercise with your eyes closed, which can make balancing more difficult.
4. Balancing On One Foot
When it comes to falls prevention home exercises, this one is certainly more challenging than the first three and should only be attempted once the other exercises have been mastered.
With your eyes open, practice balancing on your left foot for ten seconds and then your right foot for ten seconds. Gradually build up to thirty seconds on each foot.
5. Back Leg Raise
Hold onto a countertop or the back of a stable chair. With good posture in your stance, raise one leg behind your body, trying to keep the leg straight. Do it slowly so you’re working the muscles. Once you’ve done ten reps, switch to the other leg.
This exercise is great for increasing flexibility, improving your balance and strengthening the muscles of the legs and core.
6. Side Leg Raise
Once again, hold onto something sturdy and raise one leg out to the side for ten repetitions. Repeat the process with the other leg. Keep your toes pointed straight ahead as you lift your leg.
7. Calf Raises
Hold onto something to keep yourself stable and slowly raise your heels off the ground so you’re standing on your toes. Repeat until you feel a burning sensation in the calf muscles. This exercise improves balance and strengthens the calf muscles, making you steadier on your feet.
Vital Home Health Services
Vital Home Health Services provides comprehensive in-home care for the elderly. We can help you work on your exercise routine to prevent fall accidents and injury. Just visit our website or give us a call to discover just how we can help you improve your quality of life.