Balance. We think about our work/life balance, we make sure we balance the books, and achieve a healthy balance in our diets – but how much time do you actually spend on balance, literally? For seniors, falls are a major concern, as resulting injuries can be very serious, so working on maintaining good balance is a central part of staying healthy and living independently longer. Here are some of the best ways to work on your balance:
- Walk sideways. Shuffle sideways to the right, then shuffle sideways to the left.
- Grapevine. Just like in line dancing, walk sideways by stepping first over the lead foot, then next under the lead foot. Shuffle right, then shuffle left.
- One leg stand. Try to maintain balance on one leg. If this is too hard, start by just moving your feet closer and closer together and balancing like this.
- Heel-to-toe walk. This is one that grandchildren love to do in parking lots. Walk with one foot directly in front of the other, as if trying to stay on a line.
The great thing about these exercises is that they require no equipment, and can be done at home in front of the TV during commercials. Encourage your senior loved one to try these to maintain and improve their good balance.