Diet and exercise get a lot of attention for healthy aging. And they should, but not at the expense of other health factors. Poor balance, for example, can be perilous but is rarely considered by most.
Poor balance is a common cause of falls, which send millions of people in America to the emergency room every year with broken bones or head injuries.
Thankfully there are a variety of things you can do to improve your balance.
Physical therapy is one of the best thongs you can do to reduce the risk of falls. It focuses on improving communication between your joints and brain, as well as the balance system in your ear (vestibular system) and vision.
It also focuses on flexibility, walking patterns, and exercises to build strength and coordination in your legs and hips. Many movements can be practiced at home after receiving the proper training.
Stronger muscles are also very important to balance. Core muscles, in particular, play a significant role. Abdominal and gluteal muscles (in the buttocks) keep you upright and propel motion.
Gentle exercises like pelvic tilts, wall planks, and leg lifts can all help build core strength.
Tai chi and yoga are both forms of exercise that can help prevent falling. Both help you pay attention to the control and quality of movements.
Tai chi involves slow movements that shift weight from one limb to another. Yoga uses a series of postures to move through and hold while focusing on breathing.
Both techniques can help flexibility, range of motion, strength, balance, and reflexes to help reduce the risk of falling.
Another thing that can help with balance is vision care. Suppose you can’t see where you are walking; the chance of falling increases. Keep up to date with comprehensive eye exams and wear eyeglasses if needed.
Lastly, devices like canes and walkers can be helpful. Just make sure they are measured properly, and you learn how to use them.