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Balance Exercises for Seniors
Written By : SeniorsList 
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Balance is essential in seniors to help prevent falls and thus improve the quality of life and long-term independence. One of the best ways to influence your balance is to strengthen your leg muscles. The reason this is so important is because seniors tend to use their legs less and less as they age leading to weaker muscles. This of course happens over many years and isn’t noticed until they can no longer do something comfortably, like climbing stairs or getting up from the sofa.

To prevent this muscle loss from happening seniors will have to have an exercise program they are dedicated to following. Two of the most important muscle groups in the legs are the calves and the dorsiflexors. The calves are located on the back of your lower leg. The dorsiflexors are located on the front part of your leg, below the knee. Together, these muscles work to control your feet when walking or standing and are key to maintaining your balance. The following are two simple exercises that allow you to build these muscle groups and, therefore, have better control over your balance.

Toe Points: For this exercise, all you need is a chair. Sit down on the edge so that your feet are flat on the ground and your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Now extend one leg so your foot comes off the ground and point your toe forward. Keep your leg still and simply point your toe all the way forward and then all the way toward your shin. Repeat this 10 to 15 times and then switch to the other foot.

Calf Raise: For this exercise, you will stand about 6 inches from your kitchen counter with your feet about 6 inches apart. While holding onto the counter, simply rise onto your toes. Allow your heels to come off the ground a couple inches and then lower yourself back down slowly. Repeat 10-15 times.

These two exercises will help to build your leg muscles and should be done 3 times per week. If you can do 2 sets of each exercise, that will be better. The key to all exercise is consistency so remember to put in the effort. This is just a basic routine and can be used with other exercise programs or activities. Balance and leg strength become more and more important as you age so make this a lifelong lesson and prevent unnecessary falls. Best of luck!

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