2 Simple Moves to Improve Balance, Prevent Falls
One in four. If you were playing the lottery, buying raffle tickets, or playing bingo for prize money, those are pretty good odds that’s you’d win something. But the odds may not always be in your favor as you age.
One in four seniors experience a fall every year. In fact, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for seniors, according to the National Council on Aging. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Just a few minutes a day of exercise to improve balance and mobility can make a difference.
Here are two simple moves you can do almost anywhere:
- One-Legged Wall Balance. Stand next to a wall. Extend your arm and place your hand on the wall palm down. Now lift one foot off the ground. Gently push away from the wall and balance on one foot, without your hand touching the wall. Try to balance for 30 seconds. Now switch sides and balance for 30 seconds on the other foot. If you’re unsteady, just put your hand back on the wall to steady yourself.
- No-Peeking One-Legged Wall Balance. Want to help train your brain to improve balance? Here’s a little twist to the One-Legged Wall Balance described above. Close your eyes. That’s it. Once you’re balanced on one foot, close your eyes and try to balance for 30 seconds. It’s actually a lot harder, but it’s a great way to improve proprioception, your brain’s ability to recognize position and movement of the body. Once you’re confident enough, try to balance on one foot away from the wall. Try it while you’re watching TV, on the phone, or waiting in line at the grocery store. You’ll get stronger, improve balance, and reduce your risk for falls.
For more exercises to improve strength and balance, see our Senior Exercises video page. We have videos for beginners and more advanced exercise afficionados.
Taking steps to improve and maintain balance and mobility as you age is just as important as eating healthy foods. Looking for some Senior-Friendly meals made from fresh ingredients and easy to prepare? Check out all the options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.