The Importance of Balance in Fall Prevention

Each year, one in three adults age 65 and over takes a fall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Our inner ear controls balance, and as a person ages structures inside the ear can decline, leading to problems balancing while sitting and standing.

Doing exercises to promote balance is especially important as we age. The National Institutes of Health recommends the following exercises for fall prevention:

  1. Standing on one foot:  Stand with feet hip width apart, and lift one foot off the floor. Hold up to 30 seconds. Lower foot and repeat on other side.
  1. Single leg balance:  Stand with feet hip width apart and place hands on hips. Lift leg and then bend it back at the knee. Maintain the position for up to 30 seconds, or as long as possible. Repeat on other side.
  1. Walking heel to toe:  Position the heel of one foot in front of the toes of the other foot.  Focus on a spot ahead of you and repeat for 20 paces.
  1. Back leg raises: Use a wall or sturdy chair for this exercise. While holding onto back of chair, lift leg straight back without bending your knee or pointing your toes. Hold for one second and lower leg.  Repeat 10 to 15 times for each leg.
  1. Side leg raises:  Using a sturdy chair for balance, slowly lift one leg out to the side, keeping your back straight and toes facing forward.  Hold position for one second and repeat 10 to 15 times with each leg.

These exercises can be done almost anywhere, as long as you have a sturdy chair or wall for support. Repeat these exercises every day for optimal strength and balance.

About Always Best Care

Always Best Care offers professional elder care services all over the nation. Our staff of caring home care and assisted living providers helps keep seniors physically and mentally active with the goal of prolonging health.  Learn more about our senior services by visiting our website or calling us toll free at 1-855-470-2273.