It’s never too late to adopt a healthier diet and lifestyle, especially in your 50s or older. As you age, it is even more important to keep your body healthy and flexible. Fortunately, there are unique exercises that are geared towards this, plus they will also improve your balance.
Some people say that life only begins once you turn 50. It is often an age when couples raise their children and welcome grandchildren. They are having more discussions about retirement and how to secure their life savings.
Does it sound familiar to you? Yes, these may be the best years of your life, especially if Watch your health. However, you are also reaching an age where aches and pains become a bit more frequent and you don’t recover as quickly when you are sick or injured. The good habits you develop in your fifties can carry you into your later years!
Balancing law of the elderly
Did you know that slip and trip accidents in your home are among the leading causes of death among older people? You may only be 50, but now is the time to be more careful. You can prevent slips, trips and falls with better balance and coordination.
If you don’t have an exercise regimen, you can discuss it with your GP or a certified fitness instructor. They can design a fitness program that is right for you and your body. Some of the exercises they suggest may include some to better coordination and balance.
The good thing about most of these exercises is that you don’t need to buy an expensive gym membership. You can do them directly at home, where you have more comfort and privacy. Even better, since you don’t need to buy bulky workout gear that eventually ends up as an expensive clothes hanger.
You can even consider doing this easy exercise with your partner, family or friends. Exercising and maintaining a proper balance is beneficial for all ages. Here are six balance exercises for you to try today.
1. Walking the tightrope
Remember when you were in high school gym class and the teacher made you walk on a balance beam? It is a great way to teach children how to maintain good posture and practice proper balance. This exercise mimics the toe-to-heel walk, only without the beam.
You can do this exercise indoors or outdoors, and you don’t need a mat.
• Stand up straight with your shoulders aligned under each ear with your arms naturally at your sides. You may feel like a little toy soldier.
• Now gently turn your left foot so that it is directly in front of your right foot. If you are doing this correctly, then your left heel should be on top of the toes of your right foot.
• Raise your right foot slightly until your weight shifts to the ball of your right foot and toes. Move the right foot until the heel is now in front of the toes of the left foot. If done correctly, it should be like walking a tightrope.
• Feel free to use your hands and arms to balance and keep your body and legs straight. Repeat these steps until you have taken 15 to 20 breaths.
2. Big Ben
Who would have imagined that becoming a clock for a few minutes could help you with coordination? As you know from experience, you need your arms and hands to center your body and maintain balance. This whimsical exercise can strengthen and tone your arms and can expand your reach. Use a sturdy chair for this exercise.
• Place the chair on your training mat and stand to the left. It would help if you were standing with your arms naturally relaxed at your sides.
• Imagine that you are standing in the center of the face of a large clock. You are looking directly at number 12. Number three is to your right, nine is to your left, and six is directly behind you. Think of your legs as the big hand and your arms as the small hand.
• First, place your left hand on the top of the chair.
• Gently raise your right leg and right arm so that they are pointing directly in front of you at noon.
• While keeping your right leg extended at 12 o’clock, gently move your arm to the left at three o’clock, as if you were pointing at three o’clock. Now gently place your arm behind you to signal six o’clock.
• For the second phase, slowly return your arm at three o’clock, then return to the starting position at noon. Try to keep your arm and leg as straight as possible. If you need to, please rest a few seconds before changing.
• Stand to the right of the chair and place your right hand on the top of the chair. Repeat the same steps with your right leg and right hand. The only difference is that it will target nine instead of three. Try to do at least two reps on each side.
3. Merlin’s magic wand
Hocus, Pocus, now let the balancing act begin. You don’t need a wizarding school or magic touch to see the benefits of this exercise. All you need is a short stick. (This is so much fun!)
• You can do this simple exercise while standing or sitting in a chair.
• Grip the end of the stick with your right hand, keeping it flat against your palm.
• Slowly extend the stick until it is parallel to the ground and hold it extended for 15-20 breaths. Shift to your left and repeat the steps. Try to do 3-5 reps.
• If you want to intensify this exercise, you can also add by holding the stick towards the ceiling and each side. Alternate each movement for both arms.
4. Wall push-ups
Did you know that you can do effective push-ups even while standing? Use a wall in your home that doesn’t have a window or hanging trim. These push-ups develop strength in your core and arms and it can improve your balance.
• Stand straight in front of the wall you are using. Keep your arms extended at shoulder width apart.
• Lean slightly forward until your palms are flat against the wall and your feet are firmly on the floor together.
• Lean your body slowly against the wall while gently bending your arms at the elbow, like a traditional push-up. Then gently push against the wall to get into the starting position. For optimal benefits, strive to do at least 15-20 reps.
5. Pointed toes
If you’ve ever danced or done ballet, this leg toning exercise should be a breeze. It is also an easy way to help your coordination and balance. If necessary, use a sturdy chair or your kitchen counter to hold on while doing this to prevent falls.
• Stand up straight with your arms stretched out or leaning on your chair or counter. Gently rise on your toes for 2-3 breaths and lower your feet back down. Keep your back as straight as possible without bending over too much.
• Repeat the up and down motion 15-20 times.
6. Surf’s Up
Here’s a fun exercise that can remind you of how to catch some waves on the beach. The only difference is that you are doing one foot at a time. Do this exercise on your mat or outside if you like.
First, stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Imagine that you are on a surfboard about to catch the big wave. Your head should be level and your feet firmly planted on the ground.
• Now lean slightly to the left as you shift your body weight to your right foot. (You can also use a chair to maintain stability until you gain confidence.)
• Simultaneously, slowly extend your right leg off the mat and try to balance for at least 20-30 breaths. Gently return to the starting position.
• Shift to his right foot and repeat the same steps for him. If you feel pain or dizziness, stop what you are doing right away. If you can, do 3-5 reps on each leg.
• If your legs wobble a bit, this may be an exercise where you can take small steps at a time. You can also make a modified version by holding onto a sturdy chair or counter with one hand.
Word to the wise
Before starting these or any other exercise regimenbe sure to discuss it with your primary healthcare provider or certified fitness trainer. Also, stop any movement or exercise that causes you pain or dizziness. Be careful if you already have problems with muscle coordination and balance.
Final thoughts on balance exercises
With a healthy lifestyle and exercise routine, you can stay active well into old age. Consider supplementing your training with these workouts that can improve your coordination and balance, in addition to exercise helps keep depression at bay. It may be what you need to be more active and minimize the risk of slips, trips and falls.