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Exercise To Improve Your Balance (for Seniors)


(by special request)

Balance, an even distribution of weight that enables someone to remain upright and steady. Having good balance is very important for standing, walking, sit to stand, and other daily activities. However, when your balance is compromised you lose the ability to feel center, or stable and more likely to lose your balance. Forward head posture causes instability of the shoulders blades resulting change in the movement pattern of the upper extremities. Poor posture can be evident in the low back with a forward tilt of hips, which increase the curve of the lumbar spine, and a protruding stomach. This position places stress on the lower back, hip joints, and knees. A loss of balance can occur when standing, walking, or making any sudden movements while standing in an upright position. Statistics show that one in four Americans aged 65 and up fall each year. Falls are more common in older adults, stroke patients, and individuals that struggle with excessive weight. Exercise to improve your balance should include muscles that improve your posture. The muscle you need to involve in strengthening are the cervical muscles to help support the head, the thoracic muscles to bring the rounded shoulder back, and the abdominal muscles to stabilize the low back. The end of the posture support structure is the lower extremity, the gluteus, hamstrings, and the ankles, strengthening all these muscles can improve your balance. Remember before embarking on any exercise regiment, please consult your doctor.

POSTURE EXERCISES

An exercise that strengthens the neck and upper back muscles.

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Stand with your shoulders against

the wall. Try to keep your chin tuck

and your head against the wall. Your

head, shoulder, and buttock should

be touching the wall. Hold for 1 minute,

repeat 2 times







Sit straight with your head in a neutral position on a chair. Bring both your arms up. Pull your shoulder blades down and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat 3 times.




LEG STRENGTHENING EXERCISES

SEATED MARCHING







Sit with your feet apart. Begin to march in place for 20 seconds. Remember to breathe normally. As you improve, increase your time.





KNEE EXTENSION







Sit in a chair and slowly extend one leg straight as possible. Hold the position and flex your foot. Then lower your leg. Repeat 10 times on each leg.




HIP FLEXION





Slowly lift the right knee.

Then lower the right knee. Slowly lift the left knee then lower the left knee. Repeat 10 times.










HIP EXTENSION

Extend one leg back off the floor. Lower leg back to starting position. Repeat 10 times followed by 10 repetitions on the other leg.


















MINI SQUATS



Hold on to a chair for support.

Keep your back straight and bend your knee. Return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.







HIP ABDUCTION

Standing straight hold on to a chair for support. Slowly raise one leg out to the

side. Then slowly lower your leg to

the floor. Repeat 10 times on each

side.








HEEL RAISES







Stand with both hands on the chair for support. Keep your hips apart. Slowly lift your heels up and then back to the floor. Repeat 10 times.

Falls don't have to define your life. Start strengthening your body and improve your

posture to prevent falls. These exercises are only the beginning of a more balanced

life.