Improving Your Balance

12:00am | | Tips and Advice

It is no secret that keeping a sense of balance is essential in practice. It's a good idea to balance everything you do, whether it's how you eat or how much time you invest doing errands. Similarly, the balance and stability you use to stay mobile in your own home are both crucial. Maintaining or improving equilibrium reduces the chances of slipping and being hurt.

Many causes, such as arthritis, eye issues, and difficulty moving, will affect your balance as you get older. On the other hand, regular physical balance workouts will help improve anything from neurological functions to the general quality of life. 

Balance-enhancing practices such as tai chi, yoga, or a BEEP (balance-enhancing exercise program) will improve both static and dynamic equilibrium. Since our bodies adjust as we age due to weakened body functions, we must do whatever we can to sustain and gain resilience to stay healthy. Here are a few simple activities to help you gain stability: 

  • Spend 30 seconds balanced on one leg, slowly raising your knee, and try lifting your foot off the ground. 
  • Do side shuffles around your house, making it more difficult by sticking small obstacles in your path to walk over. 
  • Building endurance through walking is one of the most critical parts of preserving coordination. Walking works various areas of the body, including stomach muscles, and will help you stay grounded when doing normal daily activities. 

 

Although fall hazards are the primary motivator for working on your balance, there are many other advantages, including the two mentioned below: 

Cognitive Performance- According to a recent study (Dunsky,2019), enhancing balance through exercise can improve attention, self-mapping, and navigation. Balance training for a few weeks may have a significant effect on your cognitive output. 

Quality of Life- According to the results of another study (Halvarsson, 2018), after three months of engaging in a balance-related program, participants saw a significant reduction in their probability of experiencing depression attributable to dropping fears. 

Things to Be Wary of 

Before venturing out and doing some daring movements, take a few steps to make sure you stay safe.  

  • Allow yourself plenty of time. Progress takes time, and you won't see a big difference right away. Begin with more effortless movements and work your way up to more complex ones as you establish confidence. 
  • When balancing, use caution. Have a chair nearby in case you need to take a break or balance on something. 
  • Consult the doctor before beginning any fitness program, especially as you age, so you can decide together what is best for you. 

 

Increasing Stability 

Home aids will also assist you with improving your everyday balance. Adding handles to walls where you need assistance will help improve your safety. Using non-slip mats under your rugs may make a significant difference. If you are worried about your ability to remain steady on the stairs, you should consider installing an Acorn Stairlift in your house. Unbalance comes with balancing; stairlifts can help put your mind at ease whether you are stressed or concerned with your stability while using the staircase. 

In general, changing your mindset and integrating balance into your daily routine can improve your quality of life. 

Dunsky A (2019) The Effect of Balance and Coordination Exercises on Quality of Life in Older Adults: A Mini-Review. Front. Aging Neurosci. 11:318. where doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2019.00318 

Hafström, A., Malmström, E. M., Terdèn, J., Fransson, P. A., & Magnusson, M. (2016). Improved Balance Confidence and Stability for Elderly After 6 Weeks of a Multimodal Self-Administered Balance-Enhancing Exercise Program: A Randomized Single Arm Crossover Study. Gerontology & geriatric medicine, 2, 2333721416644149. https://doi.org/10.1177/2333721416644149 

Halvarsson, A., Olsson, E., Farén, E., Pettersson, A., and Stahle, A. (2011). Effects of new, individually adjusted, progressive balance group training for elderly people with fear of falling and tend to fall: a randomized controlled trial. Clin. Rehabil. 25, 1021–1031. doi: 10.1177/0269215511411937 


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