Did you know?
- Falls are the leading cause of death to injury to those over 65. One in four seniors has a fall each year.
- Falls account for 40% of all nursing home admissions
- Falls are also the leading cause of injury related to emergency department visits for older adults
- Falls are the leading cause of hip fractures and responsible for more than half of fatal head injuries
- Nearly half of all seniors sustaining a fall do not resume independent living.
Here are seven simple exercises you can do to improve your balance and strength. Do a few repetitions at least twice a week and you should see benefits! Hold on to a chair or other support, if you need.
- Heel lifts – stand with both feet flat on the ground. Raise your heels and stand on your tiptoes. Hold for a second and lower back down.
- Toe Lifts – stand with both feet on the ground. Raise your toes in the air until your weight is on your heels. Hold for a second and lower your toes.
- Leg lifts – stand and lift one leg off the ground. After 10 seconds, lower your leg. Switch sides and repeat.
- Heel to toe walk – Slowly walk forward placing the heel of one foot directly in front of the other. Look ahead a bit if it helps keep your balance. Repeat for 20 steps.
- Backward leg lifts – stand straight with feet shoulder width apart. Hold on again if you need to do so and lift one leg behind you and lower it back down. Switch sides.
- Sit to stand – sit in a sturdy chair and place both feet on the floor. Stand using only your legs and slowly sit down again. You can hold your arms out in front of you or cross them.
- Wall push-ups – place your hands on the wall at chest height with your fingers pointed up. Keep your back straight and slowly bend your elbows to bring your body toward the wall. Then straighten your arms to push away from the wall.