Exercises for Seniors to Boost Strength and Balance

An old man with his caregiver

Seniors are often diagnosed with health issues such as arthritis, poor joints, or even loss of limb function. These conditions can make it hard to live independently or perform routine tasks around the house.

They must engage in regular physical exercises to avoid such issues.

This article will offer some helpful advice and exercises to seniors on improving their strength and balance.

Stretching Exercises

Seniors, and anyone for that matter, should always warm-up before exercising. This will help prevent injury and reduce the level of discomfort associated with new activities.

Stretching can be done in several ways: for example, a standard method is to start off kneeling on all fours and then straightening your knees so that your back is touching the floor. Then lower yourself to the starting position.

Resistance Training Exercises

Resistance training is beneficial to seniors who are trying to improve their overall strength. For example, a simple exercise uses a resistance band tied around an object such as the doorknob.

A firm grip should be used with both hands while grasping the band, and then slowly move it toward your body while keeping it tight. Hold for 5 seconds and release slowly with good form. This exercise should be repeated 8 to 15 times.

Another resistance exercise is called the wall squat. Stand about 12 inches away from a wall, then position yourself so that your hands are against it while you maintain an upright and straight posture (do not lean against the wall). Then slowly lower yourself into a seated position. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then stand back up again as you usually would.

Stability Exercises

Many seniors suffer from loss of muscle control or instability in their limbs (especially the legs). This is often caused by a loss of strength or weakness in the muscles that support and stabilize the joints.

A good example is a calf raise: Lie flat on your back with knees bent to 90 degrees (or slightly greater). Then lift one knee towards your chest while keeping your foot in contact with the floor.

Hold for 5 seconds with good form before returning to a lying position. This exercise can be done three times per leg with 3 sets of 15 reps each time, and repeats can be increased as you feel better about doing so.

Balance Exercises

For seniors, balance exercises are essential to prevent injury. These simple exercises can be done in the comfort of one’s own home and require only the use of household items such as a chair or couch.

A great starter exercise is called the single-leg stance: Balance on one leg while also keeping your arms out to your side for balance. Hold for 2 or 3 seconds before returning to a normal standing position with both legs. Repeat 5 times with each leg before switching sides and doing the same exercise again.

Another easy balance exercise is to sit and stand up from a chair repeatedly without using your arms for support.

Get Help For Seniors at Home

If these exercises don’t help you with physical fitness, you benefit from our physical therapy services. Our compassionate, trained professional therapists at Embassy Home Healthcare help you overcome become physically active through occupational therapy and also help you learn assistive devices.

Reach out to us today for our premium home healthcare services in Houston.