For most people, losing our balance more as our bodies grow older is a fact of life. Balance is the ability you have to distribute your weight evenly so that you remain steady and upright. Physical therapists in Battle Creek, Michigan, can work with older people to help them maintain and improve their balance, and there are two fun balance exercises that a therapist might particularly recommend to seniors.
1. Clock reach
Remember when you were in school and your teacher had you move like a clock to learn how to tell time? Physical therapists can bring back the fun and nostalgia of this childhood activity with the clock reach exercise.
To start this exercise, stand next to a stable chair or counter and hold on to it with one hand. This will provide you with some support if you need it. Next, slowly raise your right foot off the floor, and once you do this, you’re ready to start the exercise. From the starting position, slowly raise your left arm to shoulder height and move it until it’s pointing directly behind you.
For the purposes of this exercise, your left arm is like the hour hand of a clock. Once your arm is at the 12 o’clock position, slowly move it to the 9 o’clock and then 6 o’clock positions. After you reach the 6 o’clock position, you can slowly bring your foot back to the floor. You should then move to the other side of the chair or turn around so that your left hand is now supporting you. You will then repeat the balancing exercise with your right arm and leg.
2. Balancing wand
Another fun balance exercise that can appeal to seniors is the balancing wand exercise, designed to improve your visual coordination and your ability to balance.
Before you begin this exercise, you’ll need to have a stable chair and a wand to balance. An object like a short broomstick with no broom head or a yardstick is perfect for this exercise. Once you have the equipment for the exercise, take a seat in the chair. Next, place one end of the wand on the open palm of your left hand and hold it upright with your right hand at the beginning of the exercise. Also, you will need to look up so that your eyes are focused on the end of the wand. Then remove your right hand from the wand and see how long you can balance it. You can even time yourself and try to beat your old time when repeating this exercise.
Armor Physical Therapy in Battle Creek, MI, can help seniors find more treatment options to improve balance
At Armor Physical Therapy in Battle Creek, our team has experience building fun and personalized plans to help seniors maintain and improve their balance. We offer free screenings to help pinpoint the cause or causes of your balance issues. Our team also has multiple therapy techniques that can be useful for building balance, such as:
- Gait evaluation
- Shoe and orthotic recommendations
- Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)
- Therapeutic exercises
Take the next step to get our help with your balance issues. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.