Improve Balance With Easy, Outdoor Exercises
Maintaining great balance as you age has numerous benefits. It helps you better perform any activities you love, like gardening, running or boating. It also reduces your risk for falling, which is the number one cause for loss of independence in seniors.
While you can work out in a gym to improve balance, when the weather is nice, it’s a great idea to exercise outdoors. Our expert physical therapists recommend these outdoor exercises to improve your balance:
A Walk On The Beach
We are lucky to have many beautiful beaches in Hampton Roads—and they provide great opportunities for exercise. Walking through sand can be a challenge, especially if you walk a mile or more. Sand puts up resistance to your steps and can be uneven. That means with every step you have to activate muscles in your legs, butt and core to keep yourself upright and balanced. While you enjoy the views, your body is building strength and improving your balance.
Balancing on Balconies
You can also enjoy views of nature, your garden or your neighborhood while practicing balance. When you are just starting to build your balance, it is important to have a surface to hold onto like a sturdy table, chair or railing of a balcony or porch. As long as your railing is strong and doesn’t wobble, you can grab it with both hands while performing exercises like:
- Standing on one foot
- Calve raises
- Side leg lifts
As your balance improves you can hold on with just one hand or just float your hands above the railing in case you need it.
Outdoor Yoga Classes
Yoga is one of the best types of exercise to gently improve balance and build core strength. Many yoga studios in our area offer outdoor classes during nice weather, so you can get the double benefit of exercise and open air.
If you are a beginner at yoga, your instructor should show you alternate poses to help you build strength and balance. Yoga positions like tree pose, downward dog and planks all help you strengthen your core and improve your balance with little risk of injury.
If you have suffered a fall or have serious issues with balance, a physical therapist can help you improve your balance and your health. At Bon Secours Physical Therapy, we offer balance and fall prevention programs to keep seniors safe and independent. Contact Bon Secours Physical Therapy to learn how we can help you avoid falls and stay strong.