If you need another reason to bemoan the awful aspects of the aging process, how about the obvious deterioration of our balance? At 48, I have personally noticed this phenomena happening in my own living experience. However, I’m not taking this new development of my aging process lying down. I have done a bit of research into what can be done naturally through specific exercises targeted to improve balance. These exercises can be easily implemented into your daily routine in an effort to improve your balance.
As I researched this topic, I found that one of the biggest reasons for degeneration of balance is disuse. I read about astronauts, who typically are not seniors over 65, have difficulty regaining their balance upon their return to Earth. The reason for this is the disuse of this sense while in space. As we age, many of us become less active, further contributing to poor balance ability.
There are a number of easy exercises that can be done to improve balance. Many of them can be done throughout the day where ever you may find yourself. Here are a few to start with:
Standing On a Balance Beam
Actually, you really don’t need a balance beam in your house to accomplish this. Any surface that is narrower than the sole of your foot will do. If you live near a playground, you will often find that there is playground equipment there that is similar to balance beams that you can stand and walk across. When I take my kids to the playground, I make sure to stand on that equipment a number of times paying careful attention to keep good balance. Attempt to hold your position for a full minute. You won’t do that right away, but it will improve.
Walking One Foot in Front of the Other
Doing this at home a few times daily has done wonders for my balance ability. I felt the difference within the first week of doing this exercise 3 times daily. Just slowly walk placing one foot directly in front of the other foot, touching the heel to the toes. Proper technique is important when doing this exercise because it makes the difference in the effectiveness of the exercise.
Standing on One Foot
I find this exercise ideal when you’re standing in long lines at grocery stores or where ever you may be. Just alternate standing on one foot attempting to keep your balance for 30 seconds or more. Once you lose balance switch to the other foot and repeat the procedure. Eventually, you’ll reach your 30 second goal.
Running Backwards Downhill
My daughter’s cross country coach suggested this to me. It really does improve your sense of balance fairly quickly. It puts so many aspects of balance into play as a result of your body sensing the downhill positioning combined with running. If you’re a runner like I am, it’s easy to fit this exercise in frequently.
Hopefully, you’ve gained some good insight into some of the easy ways to solve balance loss as you age. Before too long you will have regained your sense of confidence as you move about, making your activities of daily living easier to accomplish.