Typically when people think about improving their balance, it requires that you stand. However, in my line of work, I have come across many seniors that use canes, walkers or can’t keep their balance for very long. In situations where seniors are not as steady on their feet, or balance is a serious issue; I suggest they start by sitting down. In spite of the fact that it is different than standing balance, seated balance can provide the foundation for balance training. For those who may have trouble with standing senior balance training , but still want to work on a balanced foundation, please read my three suggestions.
- Determine what you can do- I know it sounds simple but I have found even with standing senior balance training, many people want to work at a level that is currently beyond them. An easy place to start with seated senior balance training would be on a firm chair with your legs spread far enough apart. If this starting position is too easy, this is the place you change your seated position to discover a place that is challenging yet manageable.
2. A transition from stable to more unstable- you may find that once you have started working on your balance, you may become better and more comfortable with the exercises. Using the example, I shared before with a stable chair and legs spread enough apart; a person can either sit on a stability ball or just bring their feet together to make the exercise more unstable. Going from more stable to unstable exercises are a good indicator that your stability is improving.
3. Continue to challenge your progress- the only way a person who starts with seated balance training can transition well to standing exercises is to continue to challenge their progress. In order to continue to challenge your progress, you have to keep moving from stable to unstable. I know that you may need your cane or walker, but as much as you can try to work so, you will rely on it as little as you can.
Example of progression from Stable to Unstable
1. Seated on Firm Chair
2 Seated on a Stability Ball