Top Tips to Help You Improve Your Balance and Prevent Falls
The risk of falling continues to go up as people age and is considered one of the leading causes of severe injuries. This is because the body’s ability to maintain equilibrium when carrying out daily activities starts to decline over time. Balance requires both your physical and mental abilities as it relies on your muscles and reflexes to create the movement necessary to help maintain stability as well as your ability to pay attention to your surroundings.
When older adults fall and suffer injuries, they tend to be less active and projects a greater risk of having another fall in the future. This is the reason why it is important to be aware of the reasons that cause balance issues and to know how to improve it to prevent or reduce the risk of falls.
Here we have compiled a few reasons that cause balance issues:
It is a problem that is sometimes caused by inner-ear issues that produce a sensation of spinning or unsteadiness.
Health conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke and Parkinson’s disease also contribute to balance problems.
Seasickness or motion sickness
Occurs when you are in a moving vehicle or on a boat as your inner ear senses the rocking or motion.
Nerve damage in your feet
Associated with type 2 diabetes and other causes of neuropathy.
Causes lightheadedness when you’re rising from a bed or chair which is a drop in blood pressure.
Some medications such as antidepressants, sedatives or tranquillizers have dizziness or vertigo as a possible side effect.
Fortunately, apart from making yourself aware of these causes, increased muscular strength also helps seniors stay upright and maintain their footing so read on to know how you can develop your balance with these simple exercises:
Start by stepping to the right and bringing your left foot to meet the other. Carefully form a cross-step where you side-step to the right and cross your left leg behind, then side-step to the right again and cross your left leg in front.
Stand straight and raise one leg whilst bending the knee. Hold your position for 5 to 10 seconds and then switch legs. You can do this when you are waiting in lines or watching a TV.
Walk with the heel of your front foot touching the toe of your back foot as you take 10 steps forward.
Ankle pumping when you get out of bed
If you are prone to dizziness when rising from your bed, refrain from standing up too quickly and walking too soon. Instead, sit on the edge of your bed for a few seconds and pump your ankles before you stand up.
Seniors’ Tai Chi involves slow, low-impact and controlled movements that use the entire body. Apart from teaching you awareness, this practice improves the parts of your body needed for increased balance, strength and flexibility.
Dancing is a fun form of exercise which is also an excellent way to improve your muscular strength and body coordination.
A seniors’ yoga class involves a slower, gentler pace workout that offers key balance benefits for elderly adults by improving your strength, coordination and flexibility.
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