When it comes to the common health and fitness concerns I address in older adults, reducing the risk of falls is always on the top of the objective list. Whether it is due to frequently falling in the past, or being afraid of falling in the future, the need to improve balance and overall steadiness on one’s feet is very common in older adults. In addition to this, I have noticed that many older adults lose the ability to move quickly with their body as they get older. This is a recipe for a high fall risk. Doing specific exercises that help improve your overall quickness and agility as a senior is a great way to reduce the risk of falls. Let’s see a few ways you can improve your quickness and agility for seniors!
Before You Begin
The exercises that will be described below, and demonstrated on the video above, will be used with a balance pad. If you don’t have a balance pad, you can also use a towel or something to place on the ground that makes it unsteady. Feel free to purchase the same balance pad we use in the video on Amazon here. In addition to this, the exercises described below should be done as quickly as comfortably possible. If you feel uncomfortable during any of the exercises try to do them a little slower. You can also use a walker, or chair as assistance in case you are afraid of falling. If you are unsure on what the description below means, feel free to consult the video above.
Agility Exercises With a Balance Pad
For side shuffles, start with both feet to the right or left of the balance pad. Then, you will quickly shuffle to the side, placing both feet on the balance pad. Next, you will then go back to the level ground on the other side of the balance pad. Repeat going side to side numerous times.
Quick marches starts with both feet on the balance pad. You will then practice stepping as quickly as possible in a marching motion, bringing your knee up as high as you can to the sky, and back down.
Start with both feet behind the balance pad. Next, you will take a step forward with one foot, placing it on the balance pad. You will then bring the other feet all the way over the balance pad, touching it on level ground. Finally, finish by bringing the foot on the balance pad to level ground in front of the balance pad. Once you do this, you will then reverse the motion, bringing the leg that was on the balance pad back first, and the other leg all the way back over. Make sure you alternate which leg goes on the balance pad.
Start with both feet on the balance pad. Next, you will bring one leg behind the other, and tap your toe of the free leg on the level ground. You will then repeat on the other leg, alternating both as quickly as possible.
Start with both feet on the balance pad. With one foot, tap in front of the balance pad in the level ground at the “12 o clock position.” You will then return the foot to the balance pad, and then follow and imaginary clock all the way around the balance pad with the free leg until you get to “6 o clock.” Once you do this, repeat the same motion on the other leg.
These are a few of many agility exercises for seniors to reduce falls. Practice these every day to improve quickly, and don’t be afraid to make some small changes. If you are interested in following another program at home, we also created a great fall reduction workout that you can check out below. Good luck!
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Fall Reduction Program: