Senior woman practices yoga in the comfort of her living room.

Importance of Balance and Mobility for Seniors

July 24, 2020 | Wellness

As we age, our bodies can experience a variety of changes such as joint pain, weakened mobility and decreases in muscle mass. Any age-related medical conditions we might have can also make us experience symptoms like weakness, dizziness and changes in cognitive ability. Experiencing some or all of these changes can increase your risk of experiencing a fall.

The good news is, regularly performing simple exercises can help improve your balance, increase your mobility and enhance your overall strength – all benefits that can help decrease your risk of falling.

4 Exercises to Improve Your Balance and Mobility

There are many ways you can actively improve your balance and mobility as you age, with one of the easiest ways being exercise. Here are some simple exercises you can do at home help improve balance and mobility and benefit your overall well-being.

  1. One Legged Stand. This is one of the best ways to improve your balance. You simply have to stand on one leg with your other leg extended out in front of you. Make sure to hold on to the back of a chair for stability while you do this exercise. Start off easy by only standing on each leg for ten seconds and then increase how long you stand on each leg as your balance improves.
  2. Heel Raises. This exercise is very simple and is best practiced while holding onto a chair for stability. Simply stand upright with your feet hip-width apart, and then lift both of your heels so that you’re balancing on the balls of your feet. From here, try to lower yourself back to the ground and repeat the process. Start by repeating it 10 times and then as you become stronger, increase the amount of reps to 15 or 20. 
  3. Tightrope Walk. This involves holding your arms straight out at your sides and attempting to walk in a straight line. Try to take between 15 and 20 steps in a straight line using your arms on both sides to maintain your balance. As your balance improves, you can increase the number of steps you take each time you do this exercise.
  4. Heel-Toe Walk. For this exercise, you’ll want to place one foot directly in front of your other foot so the heel of your front foot and toes of your back foot are touching, or are as close as possible as you step forward, alternating each foot in front of the other.  Try to repeat taking 15-20 steps in a straight line.  

Before beginning any new exercise routines, it is important to consult with your doctor.  When you are exercising, make sure you are taking proper safety precautions and that you let someone know when you plan to work out, so they can check in on you. You can also perform these exercises with a caregiver or friend to add another level of safety and prevent injuries or accidents.

3 Benefits of Balance and Mobility

In addition to the reduced risk of experiencing a fall, improving your levels of balance and mobility will provide you with an abundance of health benefits.

  1. Burning Calories. Actively completing balance and mobility exercises requires you to remain stable and really work some of your key muscle groups.This can help you burn calories and maybe even lose some weight over time.
  2. Completing Daily Activities Easier. Whenyou exercise regularly and improve your overall mobility and balance, simple things like vacuuming your living room can often be completed easier and with less discomfort.
  3. Broadening Exercise Variety. After you practice exercises like those listed above and see your mobility improve, you may find yourself interested in trying forms of exercise that are a bit more involved. These additional exercises and activities might include taking long walks or riding a stationary bicycle.

Live a Healthy, Active Lifestyle at CC Young

At CC Young, we understand the importance of an active lifestyle and that’s why we provide you with a variety of opportunities to exercise and stay healthy right in our community. The Point & Pavilion is our focal point of activity, fitness, art, learning and more.

The Point & Pavilion provides year-round programs, senior tech classes, art gallery events, our Dr. Kenneth Cooper Fitness Center, and wellness and fitness resources. Our Dr. Kenneth Cooper Fitness Center gives you the opportunity to participate in small group fitness trainings, a variety of wellness classes, and strength and cardiovascular training to keep you strong and healthy.

Contact us today at 214-817-0489 to learn more about all of the different ways you can stay healthy, fit and active at CC Young.

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