Easy steps to improve balance

October 2, 2015

Falls are one of the most common reasons for people over the age of 65 being treated in emergency room but you can avoid this. These easy exercise will help you improve your balance and prevent falls.

Easy steps to improve balance

1. Types of falls

There are two types of balance: static and dynamic. Static balance involves the ability to maintain your balance without moving, such as while standing on one foot. Dynamic balance refers to the ability to maintain your balance while moving. Tai chi, yoga, dance, and even strength training all help you to improve balance.

Even if you already exercise, doing a few balancing exercise will help you – especially forcing yourself to stay on your feet in awkward situations.

2. Do basic balance challenges at home every day

For instance, stand on one leg and lift the other, or walk in a straight line heel to toe. If you're just starting, hold on to something when you try these.

Eventually, the goal is to be able to perform these exercises for longer times without holding on to anything.

3. Dance

Balance is about being light on your feet and having a good sense of your body and its movements. Ballroom dancing classes are great for this. You'll get the physical benefits of the dancing and the emotional and life-enhancing benefits of the social interaction.

4. Get off the beaten path

Taking walks on an unpaved nature trail forces you to step over or around roots, boulders, and other obstructions. It's the perfect activity to improve your balance.

5. Do more side-to-side activities

Sports like badminton, basketball, and soccer all force players to constantly move frontward, backward, and sideways, making these sports terrific for helping players develop balance and a sense of assuredness on their feet. If you are relatively fit, have a willingness to play and a sense of humour, try a gentle round of these sports with kids or your spouse. You'll get a wonderful aerobic and balance workout.

6. Take up tai chi

The figures speak for themselves. One study of 256 physically inactive people ages 70 to 92 found that participating in this ancient Chinese martial art form for six months reduced falls by half compared to a similar group who did stretching exercises for six months.

Plus, those in the tai chi group who did fall had much less serious falls, with just seven percent resulting in injuries versus 18 percent in the stretching group.

Easy balance exercises

Most falls in people over the age of 65 occur at home. You have the ability to reduce the chance of a fall by improving your balance with these easy and fun exercises.

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