Five exercises to improve balance and mobility

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many older adults have been staying at home and communicating with family members via electronic means.

That’s certainly a good way to stay safe. But changes in activity levels may mean those same older adults are concerned about losing independence through a fall, which not only can result in serious injury, but also lessen mobility and rob seniors of the things they most enjoy.

While there are numerous steps one can take, including having a healthy diet, being especially careful and increasing activity levels, one of the most important actions is to adopt an exercise routine that enhances balance and mobility.

Although it can be tempting to jump right into a new exercise program, please keep a few things in mind:

● Make a plan. Do you have a set goal you would like to achieve? Do you want to focus more on balance exercises? Do you want to strengthen your core so you are more stable? In any of these cases, it’s important to find exercises that can help you to meet your specific goals. Do some research, make a list and meet with a personal trainer to gauge what you should try.

● Talk to your doctor. Your physician knows the ins and outs of your health, so talking to him or her to see how to improve can be a big help. Doctors may even have recommended exercises, a meal plan to try or access to resources to help you be your healthiest self!

● Listen to your body! When you start your routine, be in tune with your body. Don’t push yourself too hard at first and take a break when you need it. The biggest obstacle is just to start; how long it takes is not what matters.

● Drink plenty of water. It’s important to hydrate at any time, but especially when you exercise. Take a break for water when needed and don’t forget to rehydrate afterward.

● Take it slow and modify as needed. If you need to use a chair to balance against or do your exercises sitting down until you’re stronger, there’s nothing wrong with that! Simply get moving and begin to make a change, Adapt as needed over time and enjoy the benefits.

After you have a plan, here are some options you might try (click link and scroll to the numbered section).

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