Welcome friend! From this post, you will find the best printable balance exercises for seniors I could find online.
Balance training is one of the most important preventive exercises for older adults and seniors because it is effective in reducing your risk of falling.
Hip fractures and head injuries from falls are some of the leading causes of hospitalization for seniors, so it’s important to reduce your risk of falling as much as you can.
Balance is a skill that you learn as a child and most of us never need to think about it after that. But it’s a skill that needs to be used to maintain and improve.
The best way to improve and maintain your balance skills is to do varied exercises consistently throughout your life. Ball games, running, skiing, tennis, martial arts, and roller skating are all great examples of exercises that challenge your balance skills.
Besides doing sports that include complex movement patterns, balance is dependent on your muscle strength and mobility, especially in the legs and midsection.
This is why strength training is a very beneficial form of exercise for seniors.
Why Do Balance Exercises?
Ok, so exercise is important for balance. That’s intuitive and probably most people are aware of this.
But not all of us are athletes, skateboarders, or health nuts. Some people just want to stay healthy so they can focus on other activities and living their lives.
Balance training directly trains your skill of balance. It challenges and teaches your central nervous system to keep your balance in different situations.
Of these three it will have the most direct effect on your ability to stay upright in different situations. Standing balance exercises are great for seniors.
Walking is the main form of locomotion for humans, it’s what we are built to do. It’s also a great way to maintain your balance skill and heart health so make sure to include it in your daily routine. Even a short distance is better than nothing.
Strength training will ensure your legs and core are strong and fast enough to maintain balance during dire situations like slipping or stumbling.
It will also make you more resistant to injury if you do fall as it helps maintain bone and muscle mass and connective tissue strength.
Why Print Balance Exercises?
Before we look at the best resources found on the Internet let’s talk a bit about why printing balance exercises could be a good idea.
The truth is that finding and picking exercises, workout routines, diets, or pretty much any kind of new routine is very easy. But sticking to them is extremely hard.
Habit-forming has been studied extensively and it can take anywhere from 3 weeks to a year to form a new habit that becomes automatic behavior.
Before something becomes a habit, you have to think about and plan for it actively. If you don’t set reminders for yourself you are almost guaranteed to forget about the routine in a few weeks.
Something like an exercise routine or a weight loss plan is much harder to form a habit for than things that give instant gratification because they take time and effort. Your brain is wired to want instant pleasure from actions.
So it’s no surprise that sticking to a new diet for six months to lose 20 lbs is a lot harder than taking up daily sugar treats, alcohol, or smoking.
Balance training takes effort and consistency to see the results. The positive effects are very real but subtle at first, so you will not receive instant gratification and it’s very easy to forget to do your exercises.
This is where printing your balance exercises comes in. You can decide to do balance exercises but if you don’t have constant reminders, you will likely forget to do them.
By printing out the exercises and putting them on a wall where you can’t miss them, you will be reminding yourself to do the exercises. It’s also a good idea to set a time for the exercises in your calendar.
Remember that with balance training a couple of minutes every day is better than an hour every two weeks. Consistency is key.
Printable exercises are of course great if you are instructing seniors on healthy activities. These make great hand-outs for different kinds of events.
Printable Balance Exercises
Below are some of the best printable balance exercises I’ve found online. They are not owned or created by ElderStrength and the owner/creator/source is mentioned next to the link.
NIH Senior Health
I think this printable balance exercise sheet is the best out there. It’s created by health officials, it has important background information about fall prevention and safety measures and a good set of exercises.
There are a total of five balance exercises with instructions for modification for progress.
Five exercises is a good amount for a balance-workout but it can be a bit much to start with. In the beginning, it’s much more important to focus on forming a habit.
So if you feel that 5 exercises take too long or take too much effort, just pick two or three and focus on them first. You can add or replace them as you progress.
NM State University
This is a great handout about exercises to improve your balance. It’s prepared by a Quay County FCS Agent for New Mexico State University.
The pamphlet includes instructions for 18 balance and strength training exercises with pictures for some of them.
The handout is full of useful information about the importance of balance training for seniors.
The only problem I see with this print is the number of exercises. While variety is great for your balance skills it’s not so great for habit-forming.
So I recommend you only pick two or three exercises at first and focus on performing them every day. You can then include additional ones or change them as you progress.
I hope you found my recommendations for printable balance exercises for seniors useful. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can leave them in the comments section below.
As a recap, balance training takes very little effort and can be very beneficial. The key is consistency and forming a habit.
It’s better to train your balance every day for a few minutes than try to do a lot every now and then.
Done daily balance training should feel fairly effortless once you get the hang of it.
The most important thing is to form a routine as it takes constant effort to maintain your balance.
This is where printable balance exercises can really help you, they are there to remind you every day what to do. It’s also a good idea to mark your training in your daily calendar and set up a reminder on your smartphone. This way you won’t forget to do them.
Thanks for reading and see you next time!