Falling is a very serious and very common way to get hurt. According to the National Council on Aging, every 11 seconds an older adult is treated for fall injuries in the emergency room. Some falling injuries may even lead to needing a wheelchair. To prevent falling, and therefore injuries sustained from falling, it’s important to stay balanced. Here are three easy ways seniors can improve their balance, and stay out of the wheelchair.
Walk Heel to Toe
Start simple and easy. Walking heel to toe is part of the field sobriety test, but it can also help anyone improve their balance. Take 20 steps forward in a straight line, touching the heel of your front foot to toe of your back foot. This exercise not only improves balance, but strengthens your legs.
For this exercise, all you need is a wall, and two arms. To perform this exercise, stand facing the wall at an arm’s length away. Lean forward slightly, and put your palms flat against the wall at the height and width of your shoulders. Bring your body towards the wall, and then gently push yourself back so your arms are outstretched again– exactly like a push-up, but standing. Simple!
Marching in Place
Even more simple than the first two, is marching in place. You can do this with out without supportive help, but either way you will be improving your balance. Marching in place simply means to bring your knee up as high as you can and putting it back down, switching legs each time.
Becoming balanced is a hard thing to do, but with enough repetitions every day, these exercises are a sure fire way to ward off any impending falls. It’s important to make these exercises a part of your everyday life to make sure you will stay balanced. Practice them at your leisure, and do as many or as little repetitions as you like. If you don’t practice these exercises and end up needing a wheelchair, come to your local Maryland wheelchair store and see what we have to offer.