As a senior, one of the things that I fear most in getting older is the fear of falling. I don’t think I am alone in this. Getting older, losing strength and muscle mass, leading a more sedentary life style and reduced gait all contribute to a s reduced sense of balance.
But all is not lost, we can regain our confidence, improve our strength and reduce our fear of falling fairly simply and easily. And we can even do it while we sit in a chair.
If you have read the article on Stretching Exercises for Seniors you will have already read about bending down low to get something from a drawer or from the floor, and also stretching up high. We can help our wonderful body, aided by its brain, to use movement and exercise to increase our strength and hence our ability to prevent falls. Ageless Grace® can help with this, even as we are seated.
Balance Exercises for Seniors at Ageless Grace
You can see lots of balance exercises for Seniors on the internet, but Ageless Grace® has a specific exercise tool for it and many of the other exercise tools help increase strength, muscle mass, flexibility and coordination which all aids balance ultimately. The Ageless Grace® exercise tool for balance is used to help you to retain (and often regain) better balance. Balance however can be a complex issue. Any incidence of falling when there is no obvious reason should always be reported to a medical professional.
As well as learning about foot health, flexibility and strength of ankles and hips, Ageless Grace® has us working on three areas of the body that are directly concerned with keeping our balance – whether we are seniors or at any age. The first area is the foot itself.
The first part of the balance exercise for seniors has what your body already knows, working for you. If you stretch up high to reach for something your brain knows just which part of your foot is best to do that. This is your ‘balance point’ and you can reinforce this in a chair by landing the ball of the foot on the floor and saying ‘balance point’. Saying the words at the same time as the foot lands strengthens the mind-body connection. How simple is that?
The second part of this balance exercise is to get the feeling of falling off balance and restoring it. Sounds scary? Well, remember you are in a chair and you are only going to ‘fall’ as far as you are comfortable. The purpose of this part of the exercise is to strengthen the core muscles. You do this by moving around on your chair and coming back to balance. You also have the chair to hang on to if you are worried about overdoing it.
The third part of the balance exercise, and one which many people do not consider, focuses on our inner ear canals. Many people seem to have stopped moving their heads, not just seniors. I love to watch people reading the news on TV and see how many of them just read the news, barely moving their head. When we tell a story to someone else our heads move around as we animate our tale. The animation of the head helps us move the fluid in the inner ear. If we keep our head still for prolonged periods of time the fluid may thicken into a gel and this adds to a lack of balance and a feeling of dizziness when we turn suddenly. Keeping our heads moving can help to prevent gelling of the fluid of the inner ear. So this part of the balance exercise has you deliberately moving your head. Shake your head (as vigorously as you can) and say ‘No!’ Or nod and say ‘Yes’ I want that chocolate. Don’t just do it once, do it lots of times. Keep on doing it for a short while, to the music.
When you do the Ageless Grace® balance exercises for seniors in a class, there are lots of imaginative ways you will practice this important function.