One of the most overlooked aspects of physical fitness is balance. We may take it for granted at times, yet millions of older adults suffer from poor balance. This can lead to slips and falls which is the leading cause of injury for the elderly. These accidents can take a great physical and mental toll on a person especially if the injuries are life-altering. While balance training is important for all, slips and falls are most common among older adults. Let’s discuss the importance of balance training as we age and how to improve your own stability.
Finding Your Balance
Why Good Balance Is Important
Although it seems obvious, having good balance is more complex than it seems. That’s because it requires several body systems to work together, including your vision, vestibular system in the inner ear, and proprioception (the ability to sense the position of your body). Additionally, balance requires muscle strength and quick reaction time, two factors that decline as we grow older. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 people over the age of 65 fall at least once a year. Some of these falls result in serious injury and may require physical therapy, exemplifying the importance of balance training.
Ways To Improve Your Balance
Whether you suffer from balance problems due to medications, chronic illness, or simply old age, there are simple exercises you can do at home to help. You want to focus on very low-impact exercises that will help improve your overall stability. The following are simple techniques you can use to improve your balance at home:
- One-legged stands: Stand on one leg at a time for 30 seconds, then switch to the other leg. Remember to always use a chair or other form of support to prevent falling/injury.
- Sit-to-stand: Using a chair, get up and sit back down without the use of your hands. Repeat this 10-15 times in a sitting.
- Heel rises: While standing, rise up on the tip of your toes as far as you can go without losing your balance. Slowly drop back to the starting position and repeat 10 times.
Poor balance doesn’t only put you at a greater risk of slipping or falling, but it also leads to cycles of inactivity, which further worsens stability. Fortunately, with the help of some balance training and in some cases a strength & rehab program you can improve your stability and live a more active lifestyle.
Get The Help You Need For A More Stable Future
No matter how healthy you are, your muscle strength and coordination will eventually begin to deplete. That’s why at Biocure, we offer a strength & rehabilitation program to ensure your body is at optimal health as you age. We can help implement balance and stability training into your daily routine to prevent potential accidents. For more information on the different programs/treatments we offer, visit our website today.