Preventing falls in older adults and seniors is one of the primary tasks that I deal with in my job. Many seniors become unsteady on their feet, and look for ways to practice their balance in a safe and controlled manner to help reduce the risk of falls. In addition to this, many older adults have a tough time moving their body quickly through space. Because of this, many of the fall prevention exercises I do involved practicing agility and quick foot movements. This article will detail a few agility and fall prevention exercises for seniors that can be done with resistance bands.
Before You Begin
As noted in the title, and shown in the video, you will need some resistance bands to help with this fall preventing and agility exercise for seniors. The exercise band that we use in the video, and recommend for you linked with our Amazon Associate Link here. Once you have grabbed one of these resistance bands, you are ready to begin you agility and fall prevention exercises! Also, I always like to mention that you should go as fast as you are comfortable with these exercises. As mentioned in the video above, you should always have a wall or chair near you to hold onto as well.
Agility and Fall Prevention Exercises for Seniors
The agility and fall prevention exercises that we are going to be going over today are the following:
- Quick Forward Step
- Side Shuffle
- Quick Backward Step
- Banded Marches
- Quick Walking
Let’s take a look at what each of these involve!
Quick Forward Step
The quick forward step is going to be the foundation of the movements. With your ankle band around your ankles, take one step forward with one foot, following this with a step forward from the other foot. You will then step backward to your starting position with one foot, and follow this with the other foot. Make sure you alternate which foot goes forward quickly when taking the step, to ensure you are keeping your muscles balanced.
The side shuffle is a great exercise to target the muscles on the side of your hips. When doing the side shuffle. Bend your knees slightly. Next, you are going to step back and forth to your side, keeping a large distance on the resistance band. Make sure you are keeping this resistance tight the entire time as you move your feet quickly, as this is the only way to truly keep good resistance and work on the muscles.
Quick Backward Step
This will be a variation of the first exercise, where you will be taking a step with one foot first. The difference in this exercise, as noted above, is that the first step you take with one foot will be backwards. This greatly increases the balance difficulty, while still working your agility and muscles in the process. Be careful when first starting this one, making sure you have a wall or chair to hold on to in the process. As with all of them, you want to make sure you keep a large distance between your feet as you step backwards first, and then back forward.
Marches are a great balance exercise that many older adults do to increase their steadiness on their feet. In addition to this, we can also make it a great fall prevention and agility exercise to improve quickness in seniors as well. For banded marches, start with the ankle band going over the arches of your feet. Next, you are going to bring your knee up to the sky as high as you can, before bringing it back down to the ground. You will then repeat on the other side. The band will use a large amount of the muscles in your hips, making this a great quickness exercise and strength workout too. The quicker you go, the better!
Quick walking with the ankle band will encompass all of the movements we just did, and put them together. For this exercise, you will need to put the ankle band back around your ankles. You will then make sure you have enough space in front of you, to allow yourself to move 5-10 feet forward and backward. Next, you will quickly shuffle your feet forward, and backward with the band on it. The most important aspect of this fall prevention exercise, as noted in the video above, is to keep a wide distance on the wide as you shuffle forward and backward.
These are a few of many great exercises to help assist in fall reduction and improved agility in seniors. Try some of them out, and make sure to consult the video above if you have any questions. Good luck!
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