Happy senior woman practices a balance exercise in her living room

“The Reason I exercise is for the quality of life I enjoy.” – Kenneth H. Cooper

Working out and leading a physically active lifestyle is about so much more than simply losing weight or staying in shape. When you regularly exercise, you’re helping your body stay healthy and gaining the energy you need to live your life every day.

Exercise can also help improve your mood, regulate your blood pressure, strengthen your heart and even boost your immune system. But what if you’ve never really exercised before or don’t know where to begin? Start with balance and coordination exercises that can reduce your risk of falls and help you ease into other exercises.

5 Exercises to Help Improve Balance and Coordination

A range of exercises can help you improve your balance and coordination over time. It’s important to remember that you should always follow safety precautions when exercising, like using a sturdy chair or handrail nearby in case you lose your balance. You can also perform these exercises with a caregiver to further prevent injuries and accidents.

Here are some simple exercises that can help you improve your balance, coordination and keep you healthier overall:

  1. Rock the Boat.
  • For this exercise, you’ll want to stand with your feet hip width apart and make sure that both of your feet are pressed firmly on the ground.
  • Stand up straight and then transfer your weight to your right foot and slowly lift your left leg off the ground.
  • Repeat this motion for as many reps as you’re comfortable with. 
  1. Clock Reach.
  • Make sure you have a chair ready for this exercise.
  • Imagine that you’re standing in the center of a clock, and that the number 12 is directly in front of you with the number six directly behind you.
  • Grab onto the chair with your left hand.
  • Lift your right leg and extend your right arm so that they are pointing towards the number 12.
  • Then move your arm towards the number three.
  • Finally, move your arms behind you towards the number six.
  • Then bring your arm back to the starting position and repeat twice on both sides.
  1. Side Leg Raises.
  • Make sure you have a chair for this exercise to improve your balance.
  • Start by standing behind the chair with your feet slightly apart.
  • Lift your right leg to your side while keeping your back straight, your toe facing forward and gaze ahead.
  • Lower your right leg slowly.
  • Repeat 15 times per leg.
  1. Marching in Place.
  • This is a great exercise to help improve your balance.
  • Start by holding onto something sturdy, like a countertop.
  • Stand up straight, lift your right knee as high as you can and then lower it.
  • Then, lift your left knee as high as you can and lower it.
  • Repeat these 10 times per leg.
  1. Calf Stretches.
  • This exercise helps you build strength in your legs.
  • Find an empty wall in your home and stand facing it with your hands at eye level.
  • Place your left leg behind your right leg.
  • Keep your left heel on the floor and bend your right knee.
  • Hold your stretch for about 30 seconds and repeat two to four time per leg.

Another way you can improve your balance is by attending one of Fellowship’s ‘Let’s Have a Ball with Balance Classes.’ These classes are held virtually on Sundays at 1:30pm and include exercises that are designed to help you improve your daily movement. You will be able to improve your balance, coordination and reaction time during this class.

3 Mather Institute Recommendations on Physical Activities for Seniors

According to the Stumbling Blocks: Identifying and Overcoming Older Adults’ Barriers to Physical Activity study done by Mather Institute, most older adults avoid participating in regular physical activity because of their beliefs regarding physical activity, individual physical ability and psychosocial factors.

Here are some ways the study recommends overcoming your own personal barriers to physical activity and improving your perception of physical exercise:

  1. Enhance Your Knowledge. Make sure you know what exercise options are safe for you to perform and that you’re aware of how to properly perform them before you start exercising. It’s very important to be knowledgeable about your work out routine to avoid injury.
  2. Make Exercise Creative. Make an effort to add creative, unique components to any structured exercise programs you’re doing to make them more fun. You might get tired of completing the same exercises weekly, so feel free to add in a variety of safe modifications to keep yourself engaged.
  1. Learn to Love Exercise. Try and reflect on positive experiences of exercise while you are working out. This will help make your exercise seem more immediately rewarding and encourage you to continue to work out in the future.

Live an Active, Balanced Lifestyle at Fellowship Senior Living

At Fellowship Senior Living, we know that true wellness goes beyond just your physical and emotional health and that’s why we follow the seven dimensions of wellness in our approach to helping residents thrive.

The seven dimensions of wellness include: physical, social, vocational, spiritual, intellectual, environmental and emotional. These dimensions are implemented throughout our BRAVO Wellness programs and a variety of our activities and events offered on campus.

BRAVO Wellness is offered to both residents of Fellowship Village Life Plan Community and members of Fellowship Freedom Plans. BRAVO Wellness will provide you with a personalized program that’s been designed for you by your own personal coach. Your personalized plan will engage you in each dimension of wellness through exercises that are suited to your personal needs and abilities.

Fellowship Senior Living is also helping residents stay active right from the comfort of their own homes with wellness programs and virtual training streamed right to their TVs. We have both individual and group classes and trainings that you can sign up for on our website. Contact us today at 908-580-3840 to learn more about the different classes and programs available at Fellowship Senior Living.