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Find Your Balance: The Manor’s Fitness Director Shares Balance Exercises You Can Do at Home

April 5, 2019

We all aspire to have balance in our lives. For adults approaching their later years in life, achieving balance physically is especially important.

Balance exercises can help improve stability and decrease your risk of falling, which for older adults can be a key component to staying healthy and living well. For Fitness Director of The Manor at York Town, John Miller, balance exercises are a great way to make sure his clients stay upright and strong. He’s here to share his tips on the best balance exercises for you!

Balance exercises you can do anywhere!

John Miller has been helping residents at The Manor improve their fitness and nutrition for 15 years, and he says his favorite part about the job is making a difference in residents’ lives. Since working at The Manor, he’s seen how balance exercises can help older adults regain stability and prevent falls. Here are some that can help you:

Foot Taps

For safety, you may want to have a wall or piece of furniture nearby to lean on for added stability.

  • Stand with both feet on the ground with a stepping stool or stair in front of you.
  • Slowly lift one foot and tap it on the step.
  • Return your foot back to standing position.
  • Repeat this 15 to 20 times.
  • Then switch and repeat the same steps on the other foot.

Single limb stance

  • Have a chair in front of you to lean on if you need it for safety. Begin by standing with both feet on the ground hip-width apart.
  • Lift one foot six inches off the floor and balance on your planted foot without leaning. Hold for ten seconds and repeat on the other leg. If ten seconds is too challenging, start with five.
  • When ten seconds becomes easy, try to hold your balance longer on each leg.

Over-the-shoulder walks

  • Stand on one side of the room with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Turn your head to look over one shoulder. With your head still turned, take a few steps forward slowly.
  • Then turn your head to look over the other shoulder and take a few more steps forward. Repeat this five times on each side.

More balance exercises for you to try

Heel Toes

  • Stand tall with feet hip-width apart
  • Place one foot in front of the other, touching the toe of one foot to the heel in front of the other.
  • Stay like this for two minutes. Try not to lean.
    Exercises that strengthen your leg, hips, and core
    Stationary bike
    Hip extensions
    Calf raises

“Balance is so important because it allows us to stay independent long into life. Good balance helps us stay functional, and healthy.” –John Miller, fitness director of The Manor at York Town

Getting to Know John Miller, fitness director at The Manor at York Town

John’s history with fitness is certainly strong. Having a natural interest in nutrition and a love for gym class since high school, John knew fitness was his future. Shortly after his high school graduation, John earned a black belt in Karate and became a Karate instructor for six years. He was simultaneously working as a fitness trainer at local gyms and as he became bigger and stronger, John easily found his way into the world of power lifting.

Placing second in the AAU Nationals for power lifting, John quickly recognized his talent for the sport. Unfortunately, when he made it to the AAU World Championships competition he tore his quadriceps tendon and injured himself quite badly. Out of work for nearly a year, John decided this was the perfect time to get his certification in fitness and nutrition. After obtaining his certification from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), he worked in different hospitals and was fascinated with the inner workings of the human-body.

John then studied anatomy and physiology at Bucks County Community College for two years, and in 2004 he began his career as Wellness Director of The Manor. With his expertise in the fitness field, John is now the Fitness Director and enjoys impacting the lives of residents, improving their fitness skills and helping them live happier and healthier. “I enjoy everything about my job. I really need to be safe and creative with everything I do because the residents trust me, and I value that very much.”

Improve your balance and live well at The Manor at York Town.

The Manor at York Town, a premier independent living community located in picturesque Bucks County, is the perfect place to get the help you need to regain your balance and kick start your wellness.