Basque Study Finds Short Bursts of Exercise Helped Seniors Improve Balance and Muscle Strength

The Basque Country contains a high percentage of men and women over the age of 65. The area’s population is almost one-quarter elderly. It’s expected to rise. One issue where there’s concern is muscle strength and balance. The elderly have a higher fall risk leading to more hospitalizations and injuries.


The Matia Institute’s Fall Risk and Exercise Study

The Matia Institute took a look at the fall risk in senior citizens from 10 care homes. They studied 112 seniors in terms of exercise. Half of the participants didn’t change their usual daily routines. The other half were put into a program where they exercised twice a week for 45 minutes.


Exercises were designed around a person’s abilities. They contained short bursts of activities focusing on muscle strengthening, balance and stability, stretching, and gait. After that, seniors were instructed to take walks for as long as they could manage with the goal of reaching a full 20 minutes.


The study went on for three months. Those who were exercising showed improvement in muscle strength and balance. Those who completed their usual activities declined. Of particular importance were results from a test that predicted the fall risk. Seniors doing the exercise program saw their fall risk decrease by two points, and others saw it decline by a point.


What Are Good Exercises For Your Parents?

-Experts in the U.S. recommend 30 minutes of exercise each day. Your parents want to focus on strength training and balance. Mixing up the exercises is found to lead to the best results.


-For leg strengthening, leg lifts using the support of a chair are beneficial. While your parent uses a chair for balance, leg lifts should be done in sets and in different directions. Standing facing the back of the chair, the legs can be lifted behind your mom and dad and to each side.


-Standing sideways to the chair, knee lifts also help build muscle. Start with a set of five to the side and to the back. Switch legs and do another set of five. As skills improve, your parent could increase the set to 10 or 20 leg lifts in one session.


-Yoga and Tai Chi are good for building balance. There’s an added bonus to these exercise programs. They also teach breathing skills that can help with relaxation and stress management.


-Home care can help your parent in many ways. If your parent has fallen and is working on strength and balance, a caregiver can help with exercise routines. If your parent needs a ride to a gym, a caregiver is there. Caregivers also provide companionship and assistance around the home. Call a home care agency to get started.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Health Care in Berkeley Lake, GA, please contact the friendly staff at Certified Home Care of Georgia. Call today 770-635-8042