How To Improve Your Balance
I read a report the other day that covered a 12 year study that examined the relationship between balance and mortality.
This report has been published in the British Journal of Medicine and was quite an eye opener!
I’ve always known that it was important to keep strong and active as we age as this helps to slow down the aging process and enables us to keep moving freely and easily without pain.
But this research really proves just how much an impact not looking after ourselves can have on our mortality.
So firstly, let me ask you this question
Can you stand on one leg and if so, how long for?
The research suggests that the inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds in mid to later life is linked to nearly double the risk of death from any cause within the next 10 years!!
The risk is that high that one of the doctors carrying out the research suggests that we should include a balance test as part of health checks for older people.
Why Does Our Balance Deteriorate As We Age?
It is usually down to our core stability and muscle mass.
As we age everyone loses muscle mass (Sarcopenia)
Sarcopenia tends to be a lot quicker in people that are not physically active so it’s essential to stay as active as you can throughout your life, including exercises that improve your strength and muscle mass. Which will slow down the process.
Lack of muscle and core stability effects our posture, the way we move and our balance.
Think about some older adults you may know that are really slim, don’t seem to have a lot of muscle and tend to shuffle rather than walk.
They are at a greater risk of trips and falls due to their lack of balance.
These falls tend to be in periods of transition such as sitting down in a chair or walking up or down the stairs, so can’t always be avoided.
What Can We Do To Improve Our Balance?
Here’s a list of a few tips on how to improve your balance:
- Incorporate simple exercises such as a Heel to Toe walk, standing on one leg, step ups into your daily routine.
- Use a focus point when practicing balance exercises. Using a focus point helps us concentrate and not let other things distract us.
- Participate in exercise classes such as Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi.
- Strengthen your core with Pilates based exercises.
You can do this at home, but for expert advice and guidance on how to perform the exercises correctly so you achieve better results, I’d highly recommend attending a class.
Pilates classes are easily accessible for everyone now due to being able to participate from the comfort of your home via Live online classes to attending a Pilates class at a studio.
Pilates classes focus on several elements of fitness such as core strength and stability, flexibility, mobility and co-ordination, which all improves our balance and also reduces our aches and pains and helps us more freely and easily.
So, going back to my question – how long can you stand on one leg?
Do you feel you need help to improve your balance?
If so, why don’t you try our 21 day Pilates programme where you will learn exercises that will help you improve your balance and core strength
Click on the link below for more information including our class timetable and cost