Falls are a common cause of emergency department visits among the elderly. Because many falls are caused by difficulty moving and balancing, taking steps to improve your balance can reduce the risk of a fall that necessitates hospital care. Keep reading to learn a few simple exercises that can help you improve your balance for more confident movement in any situation.
The balance walk is a simple exercise that you can practice anywhere at any time. To perform the balance walk, make sure you are in a room with a clear floor and no tripping hazards. Raise your arms to the side, holding them out at shoulder height. Look directly ahead of you and find a point on the opposite side of the room where you can focus and keep your head aligned over your spine. Walk slowly forward, pausing as you lift your back leg. Hold your back leg up for one second with each step you take before placing it on the floor as you step forward. Repeat this exercise for at least 20 steps.
Back Leg Raises
Back leg raises focus on building strength in the lower back and buttocks to provide improved balance when you walk. To perform back leg raises, hold the back of a chair for balance. Take a deep breath; as you release it, raise one leg directly back without bending your knee or pointing your toes. Hold the leg out behind you for one second, then slowly lower it as you breathe in once more. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times for the same leg, then switch to your other leg. You should aim to perform two sets of 10-15 repetitions for each leg.
The entire healthcare team at Palms of Pasadena Hospital is committed to providing you with the education and care you need to enjoy better health at every age. Our St. Petersburg hospital offers acute rehab, emergency care, home care, and more to suit each patient’s individual needs. You can reach us using our web contact form or by calling (855) 245-8328.