How To Keep Your Balance
Every year about one third of seniors take a tumble. Not all falls are serious, but they can be. In the past, several studies indicated that certain exercises could help seniors maintain stability, but now a new review of thirty-four studies confirms that exercise is the key to balance.
The studies included in the analysis looked at more than 2,800 participants. On average the study participants were over age seventy-five, generally healthy, and the majority were women. The review shows gains in balancing ability across different groups of adults who participated in a variety of exercises including walking, dancing, tai chi, and strength and balance training.
Here are some simple strength and balance exercises you can do at home that are proven to be effective. Always be sure theres a support nearby like a sturdy chair or a railing or bar, that you can grab onto in case you feel unsteady. The following exercises are recommended by the National Institutes of Health.
STAND ON ONE FOOT Stand behind a sturdy chair While holding the back of the chair, stand on one foot for up to ten seconds. Repeat this ten to 15 times, then switch and perform the same exercise on the other foot. If youre feeling steady, challenge yourself further by holding on to the chair with just one hand, or releasing both hands from the chair if your balance is good.