Winter is coming, so are the typical snowy and icy conditions in the Northeast. It’s all the more important to do strengthening exercises to improve balance and mobility to prevent falls.
Many falls are triggered by poor balance. As we age, we may not have the same automatic reflex we enjoyed in our youth. Muscle weakness, weak hips and legs, aches and pains and deteriorating vision all upset our sense of balance and our reflex. Medical conditions such as spinal degeneration, low blood pressure and many drugs further affect balance and mobility.
There are many published articles and books on how exercises can improve balance and mobility. Mayo Clinic provides a free slide show on their site to demonstrate how to do some simple balance exercises (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/multimedia/balance-exercises/sls-20076853).
If you are interested in digging deeper into this topic, Harvard Medical School published a report, Better Balance: Simple exercises to improve stability and prevent falls (https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/better-balance-simple-exercises-to-improve-stability-and-prevent-falls).
Before you pull out your wallet, here is the Table of Contents:
- How balance works
- Why improve your balance
- The body’s balance systems
- Balance problems
- Investigating balance problems
- Age-related balance problems
- Health conditions that affect balance
- Medications that affect balance
- How your doctor can help
- SPECIAL BONUS SECTION: Preventing falls
- Why do people fall?
- Personal safety checklist
- Home hazards checklist
- Activities that enhance balance
- Starting balance workouts safely
- Do you need to see a doctor?
- Additional safety tips
- Balance workouts and your overall fitness plan
- Current exercise recommendations
- The health benefits of exercise
- Fitting balance workouts into an overall exercise plan
- Using the workouts
- Choosing the right equipment
- Understanding the workout instructions
- Answers to four common questions
- Beginner Balance Workout
- Standing Balance Workout
- Balance in Motion Workout
- Balance 360 Workout
- Balance on the Beam Workout
- Yoga Balance Workout