Balance & Fall Prevention Exercises
Exercising regularly is one of the most important things a person can do to improve or maintain balance, and thus prevent falls. Exercise that focuses on leg strength and improving balance tends to be the most helpful in this regard. According to the National Institute on Aging, most falls in older adults don’t “just happen.” That is, there are strategies to decrease the chance of falling, and regular exercise, such as the following ChairMaster exercise program, is at the top of the list. Both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities are recommended for fall prevention.
- Sit upright in the chair—using the backrest or the ChairMaster foam pad for support as needed.
- Place the feet in the pedal straps and check to ensure that the knees are slightly bent at the “down” position of the pedal stroke.
- Place the hands on the armrests or on the lap.
- Start pedaling using smooth, continuous pedal strokes at a resistance that is tolerable.
Perform seated pedaling on the ChairMaster most days of the week, accumulating a total of 150 minutes (for example, 30 minutes of exercise, five days per week). If 30 minutes is too long in the beginning, perform at least 10-minute bouts and work up to 30 minutes.
Aerobic Exercise Summary:
Movement-based exercise that enhances range of motion, strengthens the muscles, and improves balance should be performed two to three non-consecutive days per week. Perform at least one set of the following ChairMaster muscle-strengthening exercises for 10 to 15 repetitions. The number in parentheses matches the exercise number on the “ChairMaster Exercise Guide”. DOWNLOAD PDF
- Seated twist (41)
- Gentle side bends (40)
- Alternating leg lifts (12)
- Leg extension with cuff (10)
- Seated leg crunches/both legs/holding chair (14)
- Sit-to-stand squats (44)
- Rear leg lifts w/cuff therapy stretch (32)
- Standing C rotations with cuff (36)
- Adductor press (30)
- Balance work and tips (49)
Other Fall-prevention Tips:
- Have your eyes and hearing tested.
- Find out about the side effects of any medicine you take.
- Get enough sleep—if you are sleepy, you are more likely to fall.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Stand up slowly.
- Be very careful when walking on wet or icy surfaces.
- Wear non-skid, rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes, or lace-up shoes with non-skid soles that fully support your feet.