Posts Tagged ‘balance’

Balance Basics

Monday, March 4th, 2013 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

When planning physical activity sessions with fall prevention in mind, don’t forget to include the good old tried-and-true heel lift, also known as the ankle pump. Have standing exercise participants lift up their bodies on tiptoes and then lower their bodies back down while holding on to the back of a sturdy chair. Participants with poor balance can perform this exercise in a chair-seated position by lifting up their heels on tiptoes and then lowering the heels back down. In either case, perform approximately 15 repetitions, as well tolerated. The heel lift is a good anti-falling exercise because it improves ankle strength and balance.

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It’s a Fine Line!

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Line-walking can be an enjoyable and useful dynamic balance activity in both group-class and personal training settings. Before conducting your exercise session, use chalk or tape to mark a straight line on the floor. Let space availability and participant functional level be your guides in setting the length of the line.

Have participants try to stay on the line while walking forward. For safety and balance-promotion reasons, participants should look ahead — not down at their feet — while walking. Permit them to slow down their walking speed, as needed, for this exercise. Also, be sure that each individual has sufficient space to use his or her arms to help maintain balance if necessary.

Over time as participants improve at performing this activity, progression can be achieved by gradually lengthening the line that is to be walked. Of course, with continued practice, participants may naturally increase their rate of speed within sensible limits as well. Just remember, safety first.

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Balance Training

Monday, December 5th, 2011 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

This simple safety hint may prove especially practical for senior personal trainers working with an older adult fitness participant in the client’s home: When conducting the one-legged stand, have your client stand in an open doorway. That way, he or she will have balance support near at hand on both sides from the door frame if needed.

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Knee Replacement Surgery and Balance

Thursday, April 1st, 2010 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

For elderly patients a knee replacement may do more than reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee, according to a study described at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in March. A new knee joint may also improve balance.

The study's subjects were 63 persons, average age 73, who underwent total knee replacements. One year following their surgeries, all of the subjects enjoyed significant improvement regarding measures of balance. "We are learning that pain relief may not be the only benefit that improves function after knee replacement," said the study's lead author Dr. Leonid Kandel, as reported by HealthDay.

Interestingly, researchers found that the relationship between improved balance and the patients' ability to walk and perform ADLs (activities of daily living) was stronger than that between decreased pain and their ability to walk and perform ADLs.

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