With the bowling ball sent down the lane, an older gentleman strikes a pose that shows off the ways bowling improves balance.

Balancing Games for Seniors—The Fun Way To Stay Fit 

Improve your balance—by having fun!

We can be so stubborn without even trying. Like when you want to start exercising but can’t seem to motivate yourself—that’s when it’s best to “trick” your brain. A lot of the time it’s easier to play a game of pickleball than it is to make yourself do cardio—simply because it’s FUN. So here’s how you can stay steady on your feet by having fun with these balance games for seniors.

Why your balance matters

It’s about more than standing on a narrow platform and not falling. It’s more than being able to balance things on your nose. While both of those aspects of balance are important, having poor balance can lead to some serious issues. Your balance is integral to standing and sitting without any issues and you can risk injury while walking if you’re not sure footed. Think of balance as your “stability” and it becomes clear how detrimental bad balance can be to everyday life.

How balance exercises improve seniors’ stability

Your body keeps you balanced through a network of small but powerful muscles working together to keep your weight centred. Virtually every part of your body has some stabilising muscles, which is why improving your balance is a whole-body affair. By working on smaller movements that put the focus on your stabilising muscles, you’ll strengthen and stretch them, which in turn improves your balance and stability. Sometimes the exercises will be variations of traditional exercises while others will isolate the specific part of your body you’re aiming for.

Common areas to focus on when improving your balance are:

What are balancing games?

Put simply, balancing games are any activities, sports or games that use your “balance” muscles. By participating in these activities, you’re using and growing those muscles—which leads to more strength and stability. While most activities you do, even just walking, use your balance muscles, some activities or games use those muscles even more leading to better improvements in balance—all while having fun.

Why balancing games work so well for improving balance

If you’ve ever made a new year’s resolution, or promised yourself you’d start working out next week, but haven’t been able to commit—you’re not alone! Most of us have a hard time overcoming the motivation hurdle when you want to start physically improving. Whether it’s strength training, cardio, or improving your balance, you’d rather be doing something fun. That’s why so many seniors find success by turning their exercises into games. Balance games work to strengthen stabilising muscles and improve coordination while entertaining you. After your “workout” the only thing you’ll remember is the fun and smiles, so the next day it’s even easier to do it again.

The Best Balance Games For Seniors

There are many classic games and leisure activities that will do wonders for your balance. Whether they’re familiar to you or you’ve never heard of these games they all have an aspect that improves the smaller muscles that are so integral to maintaining good balance.

Bocce Ball

The low cost nature of Bocce Ball makes it an ideal game to play when looking to improve your balance. Bocce Ball tends to work all parts of your body as you stand and turn while throwing the ball down the field. The twisting works your core muscles, throwing the ball helps shoulder and arm stability, and your legs are activated by stabilising you through all these movements.

Frisbee

The best part of playing with a frisbee is how many games you can use it for—from a simple leisurely game of catch with friends and family to playing a game of ultimate frisbee in the park. Ultimate Frisbee can be a bit more intense, so we recommend trying Frisbee Golf. A simple, yet fun game that doesn’t require any running. Each offers a different level of intensity, but all frisbee games will work wonders for stability, coordination, and strength in your hips and shoulders.

Pickleball

A combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis—Pickleball is played on a badminton sized court with a lower net. Played with two or four people, just like tennis you’re trying to send the ball back to the other player(s) without them returning it. Pickleball has boomed in popularity, particularly among older adults as it’s just as fun as tennis but much less intense. The wide range of movement used in Pickleball makes this a great balance game and helps improve your cardio too.

Golf Putting

While a golf game of 18 holes is great, you can also just stick to the greens if a full round is too much. Putting is low impact and offers great range of motion that will minimise the strain on your body while improving hip, leg, and ankle stability.

Bowling

10 pin or 5 pin, it doesn’t matter–you’re going to improve your balance with bowling. The weight of the ball and the motion of throwing the ball make it an invaluable way to improve your balance while giving you a way to stay entertained. Push to get a perfect game, and you’ll start to feel as sturdy on one leg as a Flamingo!

While all these balancing games are fun ways to improve your stability, you can make virtually any balance exercise a game. Time yourself and try to beat your time while balancing on one leg. Challenge your friends to a trivia night, and everyone has to do a lunge for every wrong answer they give. You can find fun in every exercise with a little creativity! 

If you want to learn the basics from a dedicated program for improving balance try this Balance & Coordination Booster Class (Click or Tap Here).