Not only will implementing mobility training exercises help with balance, strength, and flexibility, but it will also help in avoiding falling or collapsing. As we age, we move less in general. It becomes harder—our bones grow more brittle and the things that started aching in our thirties… let’s just say they didn’t improve. There are going to be some inevitable losses; however, there is much that can be done in the way of fall prevention exercises for the elderly. These activities can not only retain the strength you do have, but hopefully, help you regain some.
Chairs are a great tool to exercise with, as you can avoid needing a gym membership or a lot of equipment. To start, you can practice moving from sitting to standing and vice versa. Be sure your chair is sturdy and supportive and use the parts of it to help you raise and lower until your legs are strong enough to bring you up and down with one hand and then none. Do at least 10 repetitions and increase with strength built over time.
Using a countertop to anchor yourself, ensure you’re standing with good posture. Once you feel firmly planted, bring your knees up to your chest one at a time (march in place). You should move slowly to make certain that you’re using your muscles to raise up and not momentum. Moreover, you don’t want to lose your balance. Start with 10 raises per leg, see how you feel, and then increase.
Establish yourself at the countertop again for both back and side leg raises. For either direction, start as you did in marching with good posture and proper footing. Again, exercises need to be done slowly and with intention. Ten repetitions per side using your muscles, not your momentum. For back leg raises, face the counter and raise your leg back without bending the knee. With side leg raises, again face the counter and raise your leg out to the side, keeping your toes pointed toward the counter and your legs straight.
Balancing on one leg at a time is a great way to build strength in your core and limbs while gaining control over your body. Using the counter, you may need to start by holding on and lifting one foot at a time barely off of the floor. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds per leg and do several reps. As you progress, you may start bending your leg at the knee while facing the counter and try not to put your hands on it. Finally, you can stand next to a wall for support, and without using your hands, stand on one leg at a time.
To target the same muscle groups and skills that you’d be strengthening using these exercises, consider horseback riding (hippotherapy) as well. Chariot Innovations has created a hippotherapy simulator that provides the benefits of horseback riding from the comfort of a therapy office as well as with support from a professional. Implementing these fall prevention exercises for the elderly should allow you to live your golden years to the fullest without unnecessary weakness.