balance exercise equipment for seniors

Balance Exercise Equipment For Seniors

In this post, you will learn about balance exercise equipment for seniors for improving balance.

Improving and maintaining balance is incredibly important as you age since it’s a skill you can lose very rapidly. Especially if you injure yourself or are bedridden for an extended period of time.

But the good news is that you can do a lot to prevent the loss of balance and to even improve it no matter what your age is.

There are specific types of exercise and equipment that go along with them that help to improve balance more effectively than other types of exercise.

Balance is a skill just like any other, once you learn it, you don’t think about it much unless you have trouble with it. But just like any skill, it requires constant practice or it will slowly deteriorate.

Let’s start by looking at how aging affects your balance and then we will look at the methods you can use to improve it.

How Aging Affects Balance

Aging affects both your sense of balance and your physical ability to maintain balance by several mechanisms. If you want to learn more about this topic, you can find more information in the article How To Improve Balance In The Elderly but we will cover the basics here.

The first way aging affects your balance is the vestibular system within your ears. It’s basically a level sensor that tells your brain your position in relation to gravity. Just like the bubble in a level.

Aging can affect the vestibular system by making the organ perform more slowly and less accurately. This will leave your brain guessing, especially during fast movement.

Another way aging affects your sense of balance is through sight. Your brain uses the information from the vestibular system, the visual information from the eyes, and the senes of proprioception to maintain balance. Even if you don’t require glasses, aging affects your sight and how fast your brain processes visual information.

Aging also affects the sense of proprioception. If you are not familiar with it, it’s the sense of the position of your body in space that is based on special nerve cells all around your body.

All these three systems can be affected by aging, essentially making you slower and clumsier. But these changes are usually very slight and gradual if you are otherwise healthy and active.

More importantly, aging can affect your ability to maintain balance by deteriorating your muscular strength and mobility. While the aforementioned senses are crucial for controlling balance, your strength and mobility will determine your ability to maintain balance during fast and unpredicted movements like slips and falls.

Without sufficient strength or mobility, especially in the legs, you can lose balance and fall even when your senses could have saved the situation if you can not achieve a stable point of balance.

Just think about what happens when you slip. You fumble and your body automatically strives to maintain balance. The stronger and more limber you are, the farther the point of falling uncontrollably is.

How To Improve Balance

Improving balance can be split into three categories: Direct balance training, strength training and mobility training.

Balance training consists of exercises that challenge your balance. It can be done with equipment like balance boars or with simple bodyweight exercises like standing on one leg.

Balance is a very complex skill so it’s important to do different kinds of activities. Bicycling, skating, and walking are all great examples of exercises that challenge and maintain balance.

Strength training is a form of exercise that maintains and improves the strength levels of your body. For balance training, the legs and core muscles are especially important as they are responsible for maintaining a stable upright position.

When doing strength training for balance, it’s important to use a full range of motion of the legs. This will improve active mobility and the ability to maintain stability in an awkward position.

Finally, mobility training is important for balance because your mobility dictates how far and fast you can reach with your legs for example when in danger of falling. Mobility exercises consist of different kinds of stretches as well as a full range of motion strength training.

Best Balance Equipment For Seniors

Balance Board

Balance boards are probably the most effective training tool for balance. And they are also fun!

Balance boards come in different shapes and forms but at the most basic level, they are just a curved board that you can stand on and maintain balance.

For seniors, the basic rocker board that sways from side to side is usually more than enough for balance training. The more complex balance boards require more skill and can be dangerous to use due to the obvious risk of falling.

It’s important that you only use balance boards in the supervision of another person and use them on a non-slip surface. It’s wise to start by using a wall or a sturdy table as a point of support until

Balance boards are effective but they are also dangerous if you already have compromised balance.

You can find my recommendations for the best balance boards in the article Best Balance Boards for Seniors.

Kettlebell

The second recommendation for balance training equipment is kettlebells. If you are unfamiliar with kettlebells, they are balls of weight with a handle.

Kettlebells are great for performing simple strength training exercises that challenge your balance and whole body.

More importantly, kettlebells are inexpensive and don’t take up much space, so you can use them at home to perform strength and balance training.

Great examples of exercises you can perform with kettlebells include squat variations, Romanian deadlifts and kettlebell swings.

You can learn more about choosing a kettlebell in the post Best Kettlebell For Seniors.

If you combine a short kettlebell workout with a short balance board training sessions, your balance will improve almost certainly or at least maintain at a healthy level.

This kind of training doesn’t have to be hard or boring, it can be done quickly and it can be really fun when you make it into a routine and challenge yourself to do a bit more each time.

Conclusion

I hope you found these tips for the best balance equipment useful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I will get back to you.

Balance and strength go hand in hand and they are the two most important skills you need to maintain independence and good health into old age.

Lack of strength leads to reduced balance which increases your risk for falls exponentially. I’m sure you are aware of falls are a very common cause for hospitalization for the elderly.

The typical story is that you lose your balance and fall, fracture a hip, get bedridden, lose a significant amount of muscle mass, and never

Performing strength training and balance training is your best bet to avoiding this. Strength training not only improves your balance, but it can also improve your bone density and build muscle mass which will function as a buffer for maintaining the minimum amount of muscle mass and strength for maintaining the ability to walk if you get ill.

So start today if you are not already doing it!

Thanks for reading and remember to share this article on social media if you found the information useful.

See you next time.

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