As we grow older, our bodies naturally grow weaker against the many threats that can harm us. This includes a more fragile immune system, bone structure, and even bone density. Although there exists a wide range of complex medical conditions, one of the more severe complications an elderly individual can suffer from is a bad slip and fall.
How Important is Balance to an Older Adult’s Life?
While teenagers and middle-aged people can scoff at the idea of a life-threatening slip and fall, tripping is much more dangerous to older adults. This is because their weakened body is more susceptible to damage from a fall, affecting their weak bones, muscles, and organs.
Besides involving more risk of getting severe injuries, their recovery is also much slower, if they’ll even recover entirely. For this reason, older adults need to maintain strength through balance exercises.
How Do Balance Exercises Help Older Adults?
Although most teenagers and adults engage in exercise to stay fit and build muscle, there are other advantages to working out. Besides building strength and endurance, working out improves a person’s balance and flexibility. Through routine exercises, a person will be more physically adept at managing the potential dangers of life.
For example, a multicomponent exercise that focuses on balance will improve an older adult’s reaction time. This allows them better control of their situation during potential accidents. With faster coordination, they can think more clearly and avoid bad falls. Additionally, these routine exercises will strengthen their muscles and bones to prevent fractures and other severe injuries.
Contrary to popular belief, older adults still need regular exercise even if they’re not performing physically strenuous tasks. Physically keeping their body fit has numerous advantages that go beyond improving their balance. An active body has less risk of deteriorating at a faster rate. With proper training and nutrition, people past their sixties can still perform impressive physical feats!
What Exercises Help Older Adults Improve Their Balance?
Older adults don’t have to perform physically rigorous exercise to improve their balance. They can combine relaxation, mediation, and exercise in one. Yoga utilizes physical movement and breathing techniques to improve a person’s balance and concentration through different coordinated poses. Doing yoga is an excellent solution to relieve various health issues like arthritis, high blood pressure, and other chronic pain disorders. Since there are different schools of yoga to learn from, each one will affect the person uniquely in a physical, emotional, and spiritual way.
Besides yoga, an older adult can also benefit from Tai Chi. As an ancient practice of Chinese martial arts, emulating slow and controlled movements will help a person who has stiff and limited mobility. Tai chi is also linked to a person’s increased longevity. One tai chi session is engaging enough to develop the body’s different bones and muscles. For this reason, older adults who engage in regular Tai Chi sessions have a greater range of motion and awareness of their body’s physical strengths.
Households should abandon the myth that older adults live sedentary and isolated lives. This belief can lead to dangerous habits that will further harm your loved ones’ chance at living a longer life. Unfortunately, some seniors need some convincing to realize that they can still improve and benefit from a physically active body. Thankfully, you can help them get back on their fit to lead a more physically active lifestyle with the help of a home-based physical therapist.
We understand your senior’s need to develop a more comfortable lifestyle. At Bridge Home Health and Hospice, we can provide you with high-quality senior health services in California. Contact us at (800) 476-0043, and discover the right health package from our expert professionals!