Elderly adults can benefit from fitness programs that include balance activities, according to the National Institute on Aging. A post in the New York Times Well blog today suggests active video games as fun and interesting way for seniors to incorporate such balance exercises into their daily routine:
After only a few sessions with the Wii Fit, though, the older volunteers improved their balance scores significantly, lowering their supposed "Wii age" (a score assigned by the game system, based primarily on balance tests) by about eight years. The young people improved by only about one year. The results suggest, [Caroline Ketcham, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Elon University and lead author of the study] wrote, "that older adults would greatly benefit from balance training in their daily routines, and Wii Fit is an affordable and effective tool to use in their homes."
Maybe I'll pick one up for my notoriously hard-to-shop for grandpa.