BY NADIA POPOVA
CDC data shows that falls are a leading cause of death resulting from injuries by Americans 65 and up. Leading risk factors for falls are the lack of strength and balance. If you are 50 or older, this article will show you exercises to stay in shape and enjoy a quality life.
The news about falls and death is causing more people to worry about old age. As personal trainers at Send Me a Trainer, we believe you can live your life looking and acting young. The truth is, as long as you build your strength and agility, you need not fear old age.
What Causes the Legs to Lose Strength and Balance in Advanced Age?
Aging is affected by longitudinal processes due to the body’s physiological changes. The changes diminish balance and coordination, thus impacting the activities of daily living (ADL).
Your ADL is affected because of deterioration of the sensory system – vestibular, visual, and somatosensory systems. Consequently, the cognitive and musculoskeletal systems are also affected.
What are Some Balancing Activities to Improve ADL?
While the loss of balance is predominant in older people, everyone from their midlife experiences the diminishing of ADL. Therefore, it is essential for every adult from the age of 18 to build body stamina, strength, and balance.
By incorporating the following seven physical routines, you can improve your strength, agility, and balance and overcome the fear of falling.
Stand Tall Exercise
Due to the nature of our work and social life, our posture tends to be forward-curved. Such posture causes us to head forward (e.g., working on a computer, reading, or writing). Over time, we develop rounded-shoulder, have difficulty inhaling deeply, and have neck and back pain.
A rounded posture tends to impact balance negatively. This exercise builds the muscles needed to balance and strengthen your legs and body posture.
What to do:
In a standing position (best before a mirror)- maintain an erect body posture;
Squeeze your shoulder blades together and downward;
Hold each position for three seconds and release;
Repeat ten times per session and do it several times daily (as convenient).
Standing on One Leg Exercise
For some, good posture comes naturally. Others may struggle to get a good balance. However, you can improve your posture, stamina, and balance with this exercise. This exercise is more fun with family to create a bond and laugh as you struggle to keep your balance.
What to do:
(In comfortable clothing)
Stand on both legs with your hands on a sturdy support (if necessary) to prevent falls;
Slowly raise one leg and hold for 15 seconds while maintaining your balance;
Change to the other foot and repeat;
Repeat five times on each foot.
Side Walking Exercise
This exercise builds and strengthens your hip muscles, which support your knees, ankles, and spine. It helps to maintain a good walking balance.
What to do:
Tie an exercise band on your thighs above the knees for resistance;
Step to the right and the left – repeat ten times in each direction;
Repeat several times daily.
Front and Backstepping Exercise
Proper coordination and agility help avoid falls. You may wonder why athletes can pull stunts without falling. It’s because of their ability to control their movement. With this exercise, you won’t lose coordination and agility with aging.
What to do:
Hold a sturdy table or your kitchen counter for support;
Place your right leg in front of the left and stand on your right foot;
Gradually lift your left leg and step to the left;
Cross the right leg behind the left leg and stand on your right leg;
Carefully raise the left leg and step out to the left (repeat twice);
Change direction and repeat the whole process (do it twice).
Stand Up and Sit Down Exercise
This exercise builds your thigh and hip muscles for strength and endurance. Achieving these qualities helps you get around without stress. Without good muscle power, it can be challenging to walk, stand, and perform your ADL.
What to do:
Sit in a sturdy chair without an armrest;
In a controlled motion, stand up (rising slowly);
Sit back in the chair in a gradual lowering motion;
Repeat five times (first round);
Sit again and stand up quickly (repeat five times).
Note: as you sit and stand, try not to use your hand in the process.
Muscle Building Exercises
There are several ways to build your muscles. While building your muscles, never neglect your overall fitness, including your food. This is where you need a personal trainer for guidance and encouragement.
What to do:
Find a good gym in your neighborhood for muscle building, at least twice weekly;
Try different exercises for strength, cardio, and confidence-building;
Talk to an expert to recommend possible areas of your body to exercise.
Dance Lessons Exercise
This last exercise is building strength and balance while having fun. As regular exercising may be boring, dancing spices up your day and makes exercising fun and interesting. By working with the expert, dancing can tone up different parts of your body for strength and agility.
Go out once in a while to socials or attend a dance class to have fun while improving your balance and preventing unnecessary falls.
Personal Fitness Trainer
A Personal Fitness Trainer Can Keep You Balanced at Any Age!
Training for strength and good balance helps you avoid falls and injuries. Also, it ensures an excellent quality of life.
For some, exercising comes naturally. Others may need a fitness trainer to achieve success. Here is where Send Me a Trainer comes in.
Serving the Coachella Valley, from Palm Springs to Indio, if you are in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Bermuda Dunes, or Indio, Send Me a Trainer can bring personal training right to your door!
Make the Call now at 760-880-9904 to speak with a trainer!