Here at Therapies on Thames, we understand the importance that our elderly patients place on their independence. Our team of physical therapists work alongside hundreds of senior clients across Berkshire and Oxfordshire, helping them to improve and maintain their mobility. As chartered physiotherapists, we know that strength and balance training is of particular benefit to the elderly, and these are programmes that we regularly put together for our clients.
What is the purpose of strength and balance training?
The majority of injuries sustained in the home by the elderly are the result of a fall. While some of these may involve a trip or other falling hazard, many are due to the patient not being able to maintain their balance, or lacking the strength to keep themselves from falling. Strength and balance training seeks to redress that.
What does strength and balance training involve?
The exercises prescribed for this training are very low-impact: we don’t expect a generation of elderly bodybuilders and circus performers. They involve things like squatting from a standing to a sitting position, balancing on one leg, rotating your various joints and attempting small jumps with movement. These are performed on solid surfaces like the floor and more compliant surfaces like an exercise or yoga mat. Other methods, like resistance bands, can also be incorporated into your training, if you feel up to the task.
What are the benefits of strength and balance training?
There are many benefits, both physical and mental, to be had from strength and balance training. The more obvious ones are increased muscle tone and bone strength from performing the exercises prescribed. The better your muscle tone, the better balance you have and the better cushioning for your body should a fall occur.
As well as this, strength and balance training has been shown to improve a patient’s reactions, giving you the opportunity to catch yourself before you fall following a trip or a stumble. As well as honing the body, strength and balancing training is proven to aid and improve one’s cognitive abilities too, which allow for better processing of your immediate environment and better chance of avoiding risky situations
While anybody can try their own strength and balance training regime at home, to truly maximise the results of any programme, you should consult with a chartered physiotherapist or occupational therapist first. If you live in the Berkshire or Oxfordshire region and require assistance in this area, get in touch with Therapies on Thames today.