One thing that I have realized for as long as I have been active is, several things compose a good workout. The warm up, training (aerobic or strength) and stretching/cool down, which are all areas that I would include in a complete workout. Unfortunately, training balance is an area that is often excluded in a complete workout, and for seniors, this is an essential area in light of the fact that as we get older our balance tends to worsen. As a personal trainer for seniors, I both separate the balance training from the other aspects of a complete workout and combine them depending on the client and circumstance. The benefits of combining balance with strength training, for example, is you can train more than one aspect of a workout at the same time. Here are 3 ways seniors can fit balance training into their workouts.
Training Unilaterally- this is a fancy way of saying doing exercises one leg or arm at a time. An excellent example of a unilateral exercise is a lunge which fuses having the capacity to balance on one leg at a time as you step forward but is also a strength movement. So instead of always doing squats add exercises like lunges into your workout.
Do same exercises in balance positions- If you do shoulder exercises with weights, why not try it while balancing on one leg. I like to add standing balance with strength exercises when the client has the moderately good balance which allows them to train balance and strength at the same time.
Balance while stretching- A standing quadricep stretch is an excellent example of an exercise that requires you to balance while stretching. While it is probably best for you to do most of your stretches on both feet, try to throw at least one stretch in your routine that you can do which requires balance.
Balance training while often neglected doesn’t have to be. With a little workout creativity, you can both enhance your balance, strength, and flexibility all at the same time.