Let’s talk about balance. I don’t mean your work-life balance or your “macros” (balance of carbs to protein to fat) or your checkbook.
I mean physical balance. Your ability to stay upright when forces are working against that.
Millions of people suffer a fall each year, resulting in body and brain injuries, loss of independence, and fear. Balance is serious business. It wanes with age unless you work at it.
Practicing balance exercises and increasing your strength (especially legs, back, and core muscles) will help you maintain your ability to balance. Working on your balance won’t prevent you from tripping on a rug or a curb, but it may help you catch yourself sooner, right yourself, and prevent a fall altogether.
Here’s a challenge: Put on your shoes and socks while standing.
If you aren’t quite up to that, start by standing on one foot for 30 seconds or a minute. Then make it a little harder by looking around, doing the yoga “tree pose,” or even closing your eyes (make sure you are near a wall to steady yourself if necessary). There are props that can help your work on your balance, like a balance board or a stability ball. Time-tested fitness practices like yoga, pilates, and tai chi are all excellent ways to improve your balance.
Now for the exciting part…it won’t take you long to notice improvements!
Many health conditions, especially issues with your inner ear, can affect your balance. If you feel that something is not right with your balance, consult your health care provider.
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