*The information contained within this blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace professional medical advice or treatment. If you have any concerns about your health or a medical condition, please consult with a qualified physician or other healthcare professional.
Maintaining Your Balance
Having good balance is essential for our overall health and wellbeing. It helps us to move and interact with our environment safely and efficiently, reducing the risk of falls and injuries. Poor balance can be the result of certain medical conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and inner ear disorders like Vertigo and Meniere’s disease. Even age-related changes can affect a person’s balance. Falls are a leading cause of injury in adults, so it is especially important to maintain balance as we age. Thankfully, there are plenty of things one can do to maintain or regain balance.
As mentioned earlier, falls are one of the leading causes of injury in older adults. One third of adults over 65 and over half of individuals over the age of 75 fall each year. That is a pretty staggering statistic considering all the health issues that can come from a bad fall like broken bones, head injuries, or chronic pain.
Maintaining good balance is imperative to ensure one remains autonomous and able to perform daily activities. How can one achieve this, you ask? Other than talking to your healthcare provider, regaining and maintaining good balance can be achieved by a number of things like making sure any medications you take are the correct dosage, using a mobility aid like Stepwise Cane for any day-to-day activities that might require some extra support, and building an exercise routine designed to strengthen muscles used to maintain good balance.
Today, we are focusing specifically on some exercises one can perform to help with balance issues. The 5 exercises discussed below are easy to perform, can be done anywhere, and will have you feeling stable and back on your feet in no time.
This is a great exercise to help with balance, coordination, and stability. To perform the single leg- stance, start by standing on one foot with your arms at your sides and your eyes closed. Try to maintain your balance for as long as possible before switching legs. This exercise helps to improve your proprioception, which is important for knowing and perceiving where your body is within a space and keeping your balance.
Squats are a great and easy way to strengthen the muscles in your lower body like the quads, glutes, and hamstrings, which can help support the lower back, hips, and knees along with improving balance. To perform a squat, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart, and bend your knees while lowering your hips. Make sure to keep your back straight and chest up while you do this. As you become more comfortable with the exercise, you can add weights to increase the challenge.
Heel raises are another wonderful way to strengthen the muscles in your lower body that can help improve your balance. To perform a heel raise, stand with your feet hip-distance apart and slowly raise your heels off the ground as high as you can. Hold for a few seconds before slowly lowering them back down.
Reaching exercises help to improve coordination, posture, and balance. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet hip-distance apart and reach up with one hand as high as you can while keeping your other arm at your side. Reach up as far as you can while still maintaining good posture and hold for a few seconds before switching arms.
Balance walks are a wonderful way to improve coordination, posture, and balance. To perform this exercise, start by standing on one foot and hold it in place while counting to 10. Then, switch to the other foot and repeat the same thing. As you become more comfortable with the exercise, you can add more challenging variations such as walking in different directions or walking over obstacles or books. Of course, check in with your healthcare provider before increasing the intensity of any exercise routine to ensure the utmost safety.