Better balance training activities develop core muscles, increase stability, and prevent falls and promote independence for seniors. Actually, everyone can benefit from balance training. And that includes athletes who have discovered that it can help them become stronger. Also, fitness enthusiasts know it can help them get more out of their exercises and their daily lives. Just getting around in life effectively necessitates proper postural alignment and balance.
What is Balance?
Balance refers to your capacity to regulate your body in space. This happens by equally spreading your weight and remaining upright. There are two sorts of balance: static and dynamic. Dynamic balancing refers to keeping control of your posture while moving outside of the body’s base of support. Static balancing refers to being able to keep the body’s center of mass within its support foundation. Each form of balance is important, and both may be improved with certain workouts.
How seniors should test their balance
Although we lose our balance over time, the changes are usually subtle. We also may be unaware that our coordination is deteriorating. Try these three balancing tests to see if your balance and coordination are in good shape:
First Test on both feet:
To start close your eyes. Stand with your feet together, anklebones touching, and arms crossed across your chest. Have someone keep track of the time. You should be able to stand for 60 seconds without shifting your feet. However, swaying is usually typical. After that, put one foot in front of the other and close your eyes. On each stance, you should be able to stand for at least 38 seconds. Make sure you have padding and/or someone to catch you if you fall.
Second test on one foot:
Stand on one foot and bend the other knee. Then, elevate your non-supporting foot off the ground without allowing it to contact the standing leg. Perform this test in a doorway and you will be able to hold the sides if you start to fall. Close your eyes and repeat the process. People under the age of 60 can usually hold the stance for 29 seconds with their eyes open. And they can hold for 21 seconds with their eyes closed. People 61 and up can hold 22 seconds with open eyes, and 10 seconds with closed eyes. Again, make sure you have padding or someone to catch you if you fall.
Third test on the ball of one foot:
Place the non-supporting foot on the knee of your standing leg while standing on one foot. Also, put your hands on your hips. Raise your heel off the ground and maintain the stance for 25 seconds. If you fall, make sure you have some padding or someone to catch you.
Who Can Benefit from Balance Training?
Everyone can benefit from balance training. This training will benefit you at various phases of life and fitness levels.
Athletes: Kinesthesia training is frequently utilized with athletes to help them recover from and prevent injuries. The athlete acquires a sense of control and awareness of their joint and positions. It is your body’s ability to sense movement, action, and location. Consider your ankles. Because of all the twisting, turning, stopping, and starting, ankle injuries are prevalent among sportsmen. Even the most durable ankle might be harmed if the athlete has not been taught how to handle movement. His or her neuromuscular system will need to react appropriately on different surfaces. Athletes who practice balance get more power and force by learning to use their center of gravity. They can jump higher, throw further, and run faster with a stronger, more connected core.
Seniors: Notice when a youngster falls, he or she gets straight back up and continues to move. When an older person falls, however, the effects may be serious, even fatal. Thousands of elderly Americans die each year from broken hips because of falls. And even more, lose their independence as a result of a fall. Balance training can assist elderly persons to improve their stability and prevent falls and accidents. Seniors can adopt exercise programs and techniques that focus on balance. This knowledge will help lessen and avoid falls, much as athletes can train their bodies.
Equipment for Seniors Balance Training
A BOSU, pronounced “Bo,” like the boy’s name, and “Sue,” like the girl’s name. Also, an acronym for “Both Sides Utilized.” It is a molded plastic, weighted rubber, and stability ball with a secret filling. One of the greatest items to own when it comes to proper balancing workouts. A BOSU is essentially a half-sphere with a flat surface. Squats, lunges, leaps, planks, and hundreds of other exercises may be performed on a BOSU’s unstable surface. A loosely rolled yoga mat or towel can be used to get a comparable effect. Any unstable surface can be used.
Easy Exercises for seniors to Improve Balance and health
One of the most effective core exercises remains to be the dead bug. It promotes core stability while challenging the transverse abdominus (deep core muscles).
- Place your feet wide and stable on the floor immediately in front of the BOSU’s bulls-eye center.
- Lower your back slowly until your lower back is on or slightly in front of the bull’s eye.
- Reach your arms wide and draw your abdominals in toward your midline.
- Slowly raise one leg at a time, keeping them wide to mimic a dead bug’s limbs and legs.
Squats on BOSU
Combine your fundamental squat with the unstable surface of a BOSU. Over time, your body will learn to engage all of the proper muscles at the right moment.
- With feet hip-width apart, stand on the ball side of a BOSU.
- Return to a squat stance, sinking your weight into your heels.
- As you force yourself back up to standing, use your glutes and hamstrings. 8–10 reps are a good number to aim for when starting.
Balancing Reverse Lunges
- Start with one leg at a time when doing lunges. They’ll be more difficult standing on a BOSU or folded mat.
- With your feet close together, stand on the top of the BOSU’s ball side.
- Slowly stretch your left leg behind you onto the floor while bending your right knee.
- Return your left foot to the top of the BOSU. While doing this, push straight up through your right leg. Legs should be switched. 8–10 lunges each leg are a good goal to aim towards.
On the floor, a folded mat, or a BOSU, tree posture is a terrific option. It stimulates your core while strengthening your ankles and improving your balance.
- Standing with your feet together, your spine tall, and your arms. You can utilize either side of a BOSU, either the ball or the flat side.
- Lift your left foot slowly to the side of your calf. Do this while balancing only on your right foot.
- Lastly, to form the tree’s branches, slowly elevate your arms upward. Switch legs after 30 seconds.
Single-Leg Dead Lift
This workout develops your hamstrings and glutes. While also challenging your balance and activating your abdominal wall. You can do this with or without dumbbells.
- Firstly, put most of your weight on your right foot. Do this while standing on the ball side or the floor.
- Next, slowly lower your torso to the ground, elevating your left leg behind you. While staring at a focal point on the floor in front of you. Then, reach your hands toward the floor while keeping your spine neutral.
- When your back is parallel to the ground, you should come to a complete stop. Maintain a supple right knee.
- Then, gently rise back up and bring your back foot to the floor. Squeeze your hamstrings, glutes, and abs as you move.
- Change sides. 8 deadlifts on each side is a good goal.
Work with your doctor
It’s always a good idea to see your doctor before starting any workout regimen. Please consult with them no matter how easy these exercises appear to be. He or she may also have additional ideas or workouts. Exercises and workouts will help to maintain your balance and keep you active as you become older. Once your doctor has approved your plan, start slowly and set aside time each day to perform these simple exercises. Learning and performing these exercises can help seniors enjoy a better lifestyle in their later years.