As you age, you may have noticed many less-than flattering changes to your balance and stability. You may notice a stutter in your steps and you stumble over even surfaces.
Is it normal? Should it be accepted?
Actually, it is quite normal; but that does not mean it has to be accepted. It comes about as a result of gradual muscle loss accumulating, poor body posture, some medications, and a weak core.
Luckily, by performing simple stability exercises, you can remedy, or even better yet, prevent this from occurring!
Keep in mind that it is never too late to get stronger; more fit and improve your stability skills. In fact, it is crucial since the majority of injuries to seniors result from falls due to weakness in balance and stability.
Balance Exercises Promote Health In Many Ways
You Significantly Reduce Your Chance For Falls And Subsequent Injury
Without a doubt, the main reason so many seniors fall and end up injured, is because of their failure to address exercise when it was still practical. Coming up with every silly excuse under the sun, a little exercise performed just three times weekly could prevent such an eventuality. Stronger muscles and stabilizers have been shown to result in a much less chance of falls.
Control Chronic Conditions
Chronic conditions affect more than 25% of seniors throughout the world, with conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis being the most frequent occurring. While stability/ balance exercises do not immediately ring a bell when it comes to controlling these conditions, the fact they build muscle mass and are an efficient cardiovascular workout, can play a key role in controlling these diseases. Most adults take stability exercises, and working out as a whole, for granted.
Maintain An Ideal Weight
The caloric expenditure and muscle growth potential of simple exercises, such as a chair squat or standing knee curl do help one to reach daily quotas of calorie burning. The effect is synergistic; by exercising, you are able to move more freely, for a longer period of time. Compared to an individual with poor mobility, they probably move much more, instead of being seated or resigned to bed for long periods of time.
Exercise of any type improves mood and well-being, but what makes balance training superior is its ability to instill independence in the individual. They no longer have to feel dependent on others or always living in fear of the day of the inevitable fall. Freedom to move around without fear can do a lot psychologically for the individual, and leaves them in a much better mood. In addition, the release of feel good hormones/ neuro-transmitters during exercise (such as serotonin, dopamine) all contribute to wellbeing.
Maintain Brain Function
Brain function does not have to decrease as fast as it can if it is constantly stimulated. By performing balance exercises, the brain needs to form new connections, both within itself and to muscles. Coupled with improved blood flow, it is excellent for your health.
Keeps You Pain Free And Flexible
The ability to move around with pain is necessary to fully enjoy life; especially true if you’re over 50. Balance training not only strengthens the muscles, but the joints as well. Be sure to exercise within your limits and know when to stop.
Though at first glance the relationship between balance training and overall well-being may not be clear, the fact is that it does translate to one’s entire life. By just performing simple exercise, at least 3 times weekly you will be able to enjoy life to the fullest.