A common problem that the elderly face is the risk of falling. In our previous articles on the subject, we have addressed the risks and consequences of falls and how and why it is important to prevent them. In this article, we are going to enlist a few simple exercises aimed to help those seniors who are unsteady and have problems with balancing due to long periods of inactivity and lack of strength.
Few general safety tips that must be followed before starting any kind of physical exercise:
- Check with your doctor to make sure that you are doing exercises that suit your requirements
- Avoid fast movements
- Be aware of your posture at all times
- Hold on to something stable like a chair or a counter if you feel unsteady while exercising
- Don’t close your eyes while exercising
- Have someone supervise you if you don’t feel confident
- Do not hold your breath while exercising
- Stand on one foot
- Stand behind a sturdy chair while holding on to its backrest for balance.
- Stand on one foot while lifting the other at the knee.
- Hold that position for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Go over the exercise with the other foot.
- Repeat this exercise about 10 times alternatively on both sides.
- Balance walk
- Standing straight, lift and stretch out your arms to your shoulder level
- Focus on a spot ahead of you
- Now walk in a straight line with one foot in front of the other
- As you walk exaggerate your movement of the leg you are lifting. Hold it in the air for about a second or two before you place that foot forward
- Alternate this between your legs and repeat it for 20 times
- Keep your legs slightly apart, while standing by a table or behind a sturdy chair. Hold on for balance.
- Regulate your breath by breathing in and out slowly.
- Lift your right leg sideways with your toes pointed. Keep your back straight. Keep your left leg slightly bent.
- Hold that position for a second
- Slowly bring your right leg back to its original position.
- Repeat this exercise slowly 10 to 15 times on each leg.
You could also try walking, cycling, yoga, tai chi, swimming and other forms of aerobic exercises. But all exercise programs should be planned in consultation with your doctor, physiotherapist or fitness professional.
How One Life can help you in this:
At One Life, we have a team of doctors and physiotherapists you can consult before you start exercises. Our experienced team of physiotherapists, after thorough examinations, will design exercises to suit your specific needs. You can avail the services of our physiotherapists at home. Call us on 1800 425 19999 for an appointment.