Balance exercises that can help seniors prevent falls.
One of the most common reasons of senior fall is they have some balancing issues. About 28% to 45% of elders fall each year due to elderly balance decline. Knowing how to train their balance is an effective way to prevent falls. Balance needs the cooperation between the brain, nervous system, muscles and bones. Below are some balance exercises I collect during the research:
- Walk: walk is the simplest way to train balance. Walk 45 minutes everyday can make your heart stronger and lower your blood pressure. Also walking works the major muscles in your legs. Your legs could become stronger through walking regularly.
- Tai chi: Tai chi is an ancient Chinese exercise that can help older adults improve their balance and lower their fall risk. Seniors need to shift movement gradually, and extend their limbs to challenge the balance. The slow, extended weight shifting does good to bone density and joint stability. Tai chi can also help with stretch and strengthen muscles. In addition, doing Tai chi can lower senior’s blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen consumption, adrenaline levels, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Anyway, Tai chi is a perfect way to train senior’s balance and keep their health.
- Eye tracking: This exercise could help with visual system. Because visual problem would lead to balancing issues. Eye tracking exercise can sometimes cause dizziness, so moving gradually is the key. Let them hold their thumb out in front of their face, with elbows bent. Ask them to move their thumb to the left, then to the right, as far as comfortable. While doing this, instruct them to follow their thumb, using their eyes only. For the next round, they are allowed to move their head.
- Mental Exercise: Mental exercise is a process of boosting your brain’s power, ability, and concentration by doing specific exercise that are challenging to your brain. For seniors, mental exercise is essential because falls is one of the complications of Senile Dementia. Good mental exercises for seniors are: Make dinner, map your way, chat with a friend, or discover a new hobby such as drawing, knitting. Studies have shown that these types of brain exercises can help seniors to keep the memory sharp, improve concentration, and most importantly, preventing Alzheimer's disease.
Above are the exercises I concluded that do good to senior fall prevention during my research. A healthy body is the precondition of not fall, so I strongly suggest seniors to keep exercise both physically and mentally.