Walk Better, Forever
If you are currently struggling with walking, and find yourself uncomfortable and scared to move around, you are in the right place. This article will detail six exercises that you need to start implementing daily to improve the steadiness on your feet, move better in life, and avoid falling and hurting yourself. Walking steadiness is incredibly complex, but can be broken down into improving your balance, core strength, and leg strength. And by implementing all six exercises focusing on these aspects, you will improve your walking steadiness so much that you may never need a walker or cane.
At-Home Walking Steadiness Exercises
As mentioned we need to improve our leg strength tremendously. One of my favorite ways to do this is with slider lunges. Grab a slider (link below) and place it on the ground. Next, hold onto an object in front of you, step on the slider with one foot, and push the slider backwards very slowly. At the same time, bend the knee of the leg that is not holding onto the slider while keeping your chest up high. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions and repeat on both legs.
Balance Pad Marches
In addition to leg strength, we also need to work our balance. To do this, we will do balance pad marches. Grab a balance pad (link below) or a towel folded up and place it on the ground. Then, you will step on the balance pad with both feet, and alternate doing slow marches on the balance pad. Try bringing your knee up to the height of your hip on each step completing 3 sets of 1 minute of marching.
Single Arm Farmer’s Carry
We can’t forget about working our core strength, which is why we will add in some single arm farmers carries. Grab a dumbbell (link below) or a heavy object like a milk jug around your house. Next, you will hold the dumbbell towards one side of your body, and practice walking a 10-20 foot length in front of you. This exercise is great because it also works your balance. Make sure to repeat on both arms to get equal core and balance work before going on to one of the most important exercises.
I Almost Forgot..
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Monster walks aren’t as scary as they sound, and work almost all of the muscles in your legs AND test your balance! For this exercise, you will need to grab an ankle band (link below), and place the resistance around your ankles. Next, you will spread for feet apart far, and practice walking forward and backward with the wide distance on your band. Avoid having the band shrink back in towards your feet, repeating this exercise 3 times for 1 minute each time.
Sit to Stands
One of the most important exercises that will not only help with walking steadiness, but also getting out of a chair, is sit to stands. For this exercise, find a chair that isn’t too low and practicing standing up out of the chair, and slowly sitting back down. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions, making sure you don’t use your arms for momentum to get yourself out of the chair.
Although it may seem silly to mention, you need to make sure you practice walking as much as you can. Walking is incredibly challenging on your core and leg strength, in addition to balance. Without practicing walking without assistance, you will lose the “skill” AND strength associated when doing it. Do as much walking throughout the day as you can, ideally trying to get around 7-10k steps a day.
One Last Thing
If you already are using a cane or walker you might want to check out this other article I am going to link below. Otherwise, you can also view our 21 days to better balance program below. that can help improve your balance and steadiness forever.
Top 5 Walker Exercises for Seniors: Get Rid of Your Walker and Cane!
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