You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Ideas for seniors to improve balance


Q: I am looking for ways to help my mother improve her balance. She is able to do some exercises now, but her legs get tired easily. Any ideas would be welcomed.

A: Along with regular resistance training and cardiovascular exercise, it is important for everyone to work on maintaining or improving their balance and stability. As we age, strength and balance normally decrease, which increases the risk of falls. Each year falls happen to one in every three Americans 65 and older, and falls are the leading cause of injury for this group.

Move for Balance is one of the best programs I’ve seen for teaching elders and those who care for them how to prevent injuries from falls. Move for Balance activities facilitate eye-brain-body connections through specific movements which in turn, promote communication among nerve cells and functional centers in the sensory motor system.

At first, the Move for Balance movements may be slow and difficult for elders. Their nervous systems may feel a sense of chaos while they are learning. However, after they have practiced and repeated the movements, new neural pathways are laid down. The now-improved brain puts those movements on automatic pilot.

You can learn more about the Move for Balance Program at www.movewithbalance.org

Balance exercises

Single leg stand: Standing, hold onto the back of a chair with one or both two hands (beginner), with your fingertips (intermediate) or without holding on (advanced). Bend the knee and lift one leg slightly off the floor while trying to maintain your balance. Count the number of seconds you are able to hold this position. Repeat five times per leg.

Intermediate single leg stand: Perform the exercise without holding onto a chair, and move the leg to the front, then to the side, and to the back.

Advanced: Perform the exercise with eyes closed. This can be very difficult, and so for safety, have someone with you, or stand close to a wall or other sturdy surface in the event you become unsteady.

Heel-to-toe walk: Start by placing the heel of one foot just in front of the toes of the opposite foot each time you take a step. With every step, heel and toes should touch or nearly touch. Try to look straight ahead as you are performing the exercise. Intermediate: Looking straight ahead, walk heel to toe forward 10 steps and then backward 10 steps. Advanced: Attempt to walk heel to toe with eyes closed.

It’s a good idea to keep a log of various movements and exercises to help you monitor progress, such as how long you are able to stand on each leg. Record your scores at least once weekly for a month.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

When sending flowers just won’t do

Flowers. Don’t send them. My former colleague, Tim, lost his beloved Uncle Bill this week. People sent flowers. That’s what they do at times like these. Tim says don’t do it. Not because he didn’t adore his uncle. Oh, how he adored him. Still does. “He’s the man who influenced me to become a journalist,” he...
WASSO Kitchens Tour is Saturday
WASSO Kitchens Tour is Saturday

Some of Springfield’s hottest kitchens will welcome fans in this weekend. The 11th annual Women’s Association of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (WASSO) Kitchens Tour will highlight five different spaces, 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 29. The tour is a fundraiser with proceeds benefitting the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. “We&rsquo...
Katharine the great white shark lurking in waters off central Florida coast
Katharine the great white shark lurking in waters off central Florida coast

  Katharine, the great white shark, has surfaced again in Florida waters, this time pinging off the coast just north of Port St. Lucie. Katharine, who has been swimming up the east coast of Florida since January, started her northward trek parallel to Lake Worth on January 13. In the months that have followed, she has moved up the coast as far...
Woman claims Fitbit burned her arm after it ‘exploded’
Woman claims Fitbit burned her arm after it ‘exploded’

A Wisconsin woman said she suffered second-degree burns on her arm after her Fitbit tracker “exploded” while she read a book, ABC News reported. >> Read more trending news  Dina Mitchell said she had owned her Fitbit Flex 2 for about two weeks when the fitness tracking device allegedly caught fire on her arm Tuesday night...
What’s under your feet at the playground?
What’s under your feet at the playground?

The playground: a universal source of fun for children. It’s also a place to burn calories, make new friends and develop skills like how to judge risks and make decisions. A good playground challenges and engages children but is also designed to keep them safe. One of the best ways to lower the chances of serious injuries is to make sure there...
More Stories