One of the more serious medical problems that the elderly face is the risk of falls. Beginning at age 30, the muscles used to stand will start to weaken, the pace of your steps slows, the length of your strides shortens, and vision starts to deteriorate. According to studies conducted at Winston-Salem State University, balance is essential for living a healthier and longer life. Improving your balance today can have long-lasting positive effects on your health in your later years. The Mayo Clinic says that one in every three adults 65 years or older will take a serious fall this year. Consider these five simple ways to improve your balance so that you don’t become part of that statistic in your senior years.
1. Balancing on a Wobble Board
If you are not already a member at your local gym, consider investing in a small piece of exercise equipment that can have a huge impact on your balance. A wobble board is a small gym device that challenges you to maintain your stability. Place the wobble board on the floor and be sure there is plenty of room so you don’t accidentally fall onto any furniture or objects. Position yourself on the wobble board with your feet shoulder width apart, tighten your abs, and begin rocking backward and forward and then side to side. Use a chair for support if you are new to this type of exercise, then continue for two minutes at a time. Pushing yourself further each day will boost overall health and balance.
2. Standing on One Leg
During the course of your busy day, you might not have time to exercise for balance health. There may barely be time to eat in the morning before you rush off to work, then you scramble home to eat dinner, watch television, and start the whole process again the next day. One simple way to improve your balance is to incorporate net-time. Net-time is being able to do two tasks at the same time without pushing yourself too hard. For example, when you are washing dishes at night, stand on one leg and hold the pose for 30 seconds at a time. When you are dusting the house, stand on a couch cushion or pillow while on one leg to create instability while you balance and clean. Increase difficulty by balancing on one leg with your eyes closed as you listen to your favorite music.