As people get older, balance tends to decline due to lower muscular strength, and flexibility as well as inner ear function and eye sight. The good news is that balance can be improved and maintained with simple exercises that can be done in therapy setting, health clubs, or even at home.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends doing balance training at least 3 days a week. You can choose a Tai chi or yoga program, which are particularly suited to balance improvement. You can work with a trainer or physical therapist, or exercise in a gym, or at your community center.
Regular exercise helps develop strength, flexibility and endurance which all contribute to better balance. But you can also do specific exercises to help with your balance. And balance is important to prevent falling, and falling related health problems.
You can even start with these some simple steps at home if appropriate (of course check with your physician before starting any exercise program):
While holding the back of a chair, sink or counter:
- Stand on one leg at a time for a minute and then slowly increase the time. Try to balance with your eyes closed or without holding on.
- Stand on your toes for a count of 10, than rock back on your heels for a count of 10.
- Make a big circle to the left with our hips, and then to the right. Do not move your shoulder or feet, Repeat five times.
Better balance can be a big benefit, and it’s a benefit you can give yourself.
Sources: CDC (Centers for Disease Control), (NIH) National Institutes of Health, ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), and AAOS (American Academy of Orthapaedic Surgeons)
For information on Medicare Supplement Insurance coverage:
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