Balance Exercises

5 Best Balance Exercises for Seniors

The number one way to prevent falls and increase your mobility is by improving your balance. Thankfully, the best balance exercises for seniors don’t require a gym membership. All you need is sturdy support and an area where you can safely move around.

Just be sure to check with your primary care provider before you attempt any exercises.

Now that you’re ready to move, it’s time to create a brand-new beat with these 5 fun and senior-friendly balance exercises you’ll love to practice every day!

1. Single-Leg Balance

For the single-leg balance, use a chair, wall or other sturdy support. As you improve your balance, try to perform this balance exercise without holding on to anything.

2. Stand Tall with Your Feet Hip-Distance Apart

Use support to maintain your balance.

  1. Lift one foot an inch off the floor while keeping your spine as straight as possible. Try not to lean toward your planted foot.
  2. Hold this pose for 10 to 15 seconds.
  3. Slowly return your foot to the floor.
  4. Repeat on the opposite leg.
  5. Perform 5 single-leg stands on each leg.

Work this simple exercise into your morning routine and you’ll be standing strong in no time. Try it out when you’re waiting for your coffee to brew or watching the news.

3. Foot Taps

Foot taps are great for balance and strength training, because they improve your core muscles and help stabilize your spine. You’ll need a step and your favorite form of sturdy support for this exercise.

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart in front of a bottom step or low piece of furniture.
  2. Use support to maintain your balance.
  3. Slowly raise one foot and gently tap the step in front of you, then slowly return it to the floor.
  4. Repeat this exercise 15 to 20 times on one leg, then repeat on the opposite leg.

The next time you’re talking on the phone, bring out your inner Gene Kelly! Use the speakerphone setting, place your mobile phone where you can hear the other person clearly, and start tapping away.

4. Head Rotations

Head rotations are one of the best balance exercises for seniors because they increase the mobility in your neck, improve your posture, and help you maintain balance. Plus, they’re super simple to perform.

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart.
  2. Use support to maintain your balance.
  3. Slowly move your head from side to side, and up and down. Be sure to keep your body as still as possible.
  4. Keep moving your head like this for 30 seconds, and repeat.
  5. If you get dizzy, try to move your head more slowly or stop.

This is another exercise you can do while you’re talking on the phone or waiting on your next cup of joe.

5. Sit-to-Stands

This exercise will strengthen your core and the lower half of your body, while also being kind to your knees. Sit-to-stands require a sturdy chair and support, but keep in mind the goal of this strength training is to help you stand with the least amount of help possible.

  1. Stand tall with your back facing a chair and your feet hip-distance apart.
  2. Use support to maintain your balance.
  3. With control, slowly sit back and lower your hips on to the chair.
  4. Pause, engage your core, push through your heels, and stand up without swinging your torso.
  5. Perform sit-to-stands 10 times.

This is one of the best balance exercises for seniors who find themselves on a long layover at the airport. It will get your blood circulating before your flight and help rid your body of pre-flight jitters.

6. Standing Marches

Standing marches will engage the core muscles that support your spine, which improves your balance and posture. This strength training exercise can also help ease lower back pain.

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart.
  2. Use support to maintain your balance.
  3. Lift one knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor. If you can’t get your thigh completely parallel, just try your best and stop when you feel pain.
  4. Pause, then slowly return your foot to the floor.
  5. Alternate marches between each leg 20 times.

You can easily work in standing marches while you watch TV or listen to your favorite audiobook. Just make sure you don’t get carried away, or you might be sore in the morning!

Find Your Balance and Meet Your Fitness Goals at Timber Ridge at Talus

At Timber Ridge, we have a dedicated fitness staff that specializes in providing a variety of programs for seniors of every fitness level. Contact a residency specialist today to learn how you can improve your balance with tai chi, yoga, functional strength classes, water walking, and more!