Reto para un mejor equilibrio: mini ejercicios diarios de equilibrio

Por los editores de SilverSneakers |

Sneak in quick balance “snacks” throughout your day with these 7 easy, do-anywhere moves.

Keep up with the 7-Day Better Balance Challenge here!

Every time you stand up from a chair or reach for a bowl on a high shelf, you’re working on your balance.

That's how easy it is to sneak in "mini" balance training challenges throughout your day! And just a few minutes provide big payoffs.

“The beauty of this kind of incidental physical activity is that you can do it anytime, anywhere,” says SilverSneakers master trainer Andi Kwapien.

Even movement as short and sweet as a few seconds helps, according to a 2018 report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Balance training is part of every SilverSneakers group fitness class! Check your eligibility and find participating fitness locations near you here.

Better Posture Means Better Balance

An easy place to start incorporating balance snacks into your daily routine is with a posture reset, says Andi.

“Several times a day, think of sitting or standing tall, lifting your chest, and rolling your shoulders up, back, and down,” she says.

Good posture keeps our center of gravity over our feet, not pitching forward, which keeps us from falling and helps counteract the "sinking" or natural shrinking that comes with age, Andi explains. "I work on my posture all the time," adds Andi.

How easy is it? One 2020 study in Innovative Aging showed just thinking about upright posture as “effortless” improved balance in older adults.

“As we get older in life, when we’re driving or sitting at a computer, we’re always bringing our head forward, which brings us out of alignment and throws off our center of gravity,” Andi explains.

Your head weighs 10-12 pounds, so when it is coming forward, it offsets your center of gravity and makes it harder to maintain balance. "Better posture means better balance," she adds.

How to Build Balance Breaks Into Your Daily Routine

The few minutes we spend in the kitchen waiting for water to boil or the toast to pop up provide all kinds of mini balance training opportunities. For instance, Andi suggests placing your hands on the counter, raising your heels and lowering them 10 times.

This boosts calf, ankle, and foot strength and improves the flexibility that allows us to pick up our feet without tripping over obstacles.

“Our feet and ankles are the foundation of stability,” says Andi. Older adults who performed heel raises twice a week for 5 weeks significantly improved their calf strength, balance, and confidence, in a study reported in Geriatric Physical Therapy. Those who were able to do 10 or more heel raises significantly reduced their risk of falls.

Other 1-minute balance snacks include doing side leg lifts to boost strength in the outer hips, which tend to be weaker because forward motion doesn't work them. You can also do leg lifts to the back to strengthen your backside.

While you're watching TV, Andi recommends stretching out your leg and doing ankle circles to enhance flexibility. Even better, draw each letter of the alphabet.

“You get all the different orientations, front, back, and each side,” Andi says, “so if you trip, you can catch yourself in any direction before you fall.”

Then, when you get up from the couch, try powering the movement with one leg (and try the other leg later one).

“All of our balance activities work together,” says Andi. “It’s all connected to keeping us steady and independent.”

How to Use the 7 Mini Daily Balance Challenges

The only thing you'll need for these movements is a pair of comfortable sneakers. You'll want to position yourself near a sturdy support object, such as a wall or counter.

Como siempre, la clave es la seguridad. The exercises here may be different or more advanced than your regular SilverSneakers class. Si tiene alguna afección crónica, alguna lesión o problemas de equilibrio, consulte a su médico sobre cómo puede ejercitarse de manera segura.

Ready to improve your reaction balance? Just press play and follow Andi's lead through the following:

Posture Reset

  • Stand tall and lift your chest
  • Roll your shoulders up, back, and down

Ankle Circles
This movement improves ankle flexibility, which is important for good balance.

  • Hold onto a sturdy chair, table, or counter
  • Lift one foot off the floor and circle your ankle in both directions
  • Do 10 to 12 circles
  • Switch sides and repeat

Variation: Trace the letters of the alphabet with your foot.

Calf Raises

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  • Hold onto a sturdy chair, table, or counter
  • Rise up on your toes
  • Return to standing
  • Do this 10 times

Variation: Try to let go of your support object.

Weight Shifts With Head Turns
This movement enhances your inner-ear balance.

  • Hold on to a chair, counter, or shopping cart
  • Shift your weight to the right leg, keeping left toes on the floor for balance
  • Turn your head to the right and pause
  • Return to center
  • Turn your head to the left and pause
  • Do this 5 times

Variation: Try to let go of your support object.

Tightrope Walk

  • Stand near a wall
  • Put your right heel in front of your left toes
  • Immediately move your left heel in front of your right toes
  • Walk this way for 6 to 8 steps

Tip: Try not to touch the wall but do if you start to feel wobbly.

Side Leg Lifts
Together with the back leg lifts (below) this movement builds strength on the outside and back of our legs, which we don’t work as much when we go for a walk.

  • Stand near a counter or table
  • Lift one leg out to the side
  • Do 10 leg lifts
  • Switch legs and repeat

Variation: Alternate from side to side.

Back Leg Lifts

  • Stand near a counter or table
  • Lift one leg behind you
  • Do 10 leg lifts
  • Switch legs and repeat

Tip: Don’t overarch your back.

Bonus Challenge: Try a SilverSneakers Yoga Pilates Fusion Class!

The best of yoga, Pilates, and barre are combined in this mind-body mat workout. You’ll build endurance and flexibility. It’s offered both in-person at participating fitness locations and online with SilverSneakers LIVE.

Keep up with the 7-Day Better Balance Challenge here!

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