Anne loved to go for walks and enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery. It always put a smile on her face to feel the sunshine and see the lovely flowers growing along her path. Then, one day she accidentally fell as she was trying to reach a wildflower. She broke her hip and spent the rest of the summer stuck inside.
Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common scenario for people as they get older. Balance is something a person often takes for granted until they no longer have it. This is an ability that a person can lose as they get older. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right exercises and behaviors, a person can maintain their balance as they age and continue to enjoy being mobile and active.
Here are a few exercises designed to help you either maintain or regain your balance:
- Standing Leg Balance – take your shoes off to get the most good out of this exercise. Stand on one foot, holding lightly to the back of a chair, but not relying on it for total support. Tighten your abdomen and hold your shoulders back for proper posture. Keep your eyes facing forward as you lift one leg. Keep it bent and hold for as long as you can. When you feel comfortable with this exercise, begin closing your eyes.
- Standing Leg Balance Level 2 – once you have mastered the above exercise, begin moving your lifted leg up as in a march and then back behind you while holding your balance.
- Weight Shifts – if you aren’t at the level to try the first two exercises, this is a great place to start. Stand with your feet apart and shift your weight to one leg and lift the other one off the floor slightly. Hold as long as you can and switch sides.
- Calf Raises – stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and raise up on your toes, then lower down. This strengthens your calf muscles, which help support you as you stand and walk.
- Chair Squats – First, place a chair behind you in case you start to fall over. Stand up and squat down just barely. Your knees should only have a slight bend, and it should look as if you were about to sit down but didn’t. Keep your eyes facing forward. As you progress, you can sit down in the chair and get back up. The next step is to almost sit down, but to never take the pressure off your legs before you raise back up.
Along with these tips, walking regularly is a great way to help build the muscles that assist you with balance. You’ll find many lovely areas around Village Green where you can take a daily stroll.
Just make sure you have something near you for support while performing these exercises or even another person in the room in case you should fall. Losing one’s balance doesn’t have to be a natural part of aging if you know how to prevent it.