If you are under the impression that balance-related issues are a thing for geriatrics to worry about, you may be mistaken. Studies show that balance can start deteriorating as early as in the mid-20s, unless you pay attention to your core strength and overall fitness.
Balance and Old Age
Balance issues are commonly linked to old age because that is when we hear of more frequent falls and fractures. Reports prove it too because statistics show that one in three seniors has a serious fall each year, leading to complications like hip fractures. Unfortunately, nearly 20 percent of women who have a hip fracture become permanently disabled and close to 20 percent die because of related complications.
Even though it is a gradual process, loss of balance can have quite a drastic effect on people’s lives. It takes just one bad fall to make a person lose his or her confidence in walking and this can eventually lead to a total avoidance of any activity, which can, of course, lead to other health issues.
It even puts a damper on their social lives because many seniors confine themselves to their familiar surroundings and try to avoid going out at all.
How can you avoid or at least delay such a situation in life? By focusing on balance training and core-boosting exercises in your younger years, of course.
Focusing on Balance
Though we notice balance-related issues later in life, the truth is that the damage starts much earlier. While clumsiness may increase the chances of constant bumps and falls in some, it may need more attention if the frequency increases.
Experts say that our muscles start to weaken as we enter our 30s and when combined with a possible deterioration of vision, it can often impact our stride, gait and coordination. Menopause can also cause issues with balance, but while age may be a factor, it does not harm to give balance a bit more attention before we start losing it.
Here are tips for improving and maintaining balance:
Focus on strength training:
While regular exercises are definitely beneficial for balance, focusing on strength training may offer more benefits. The right strength training exercises can make your lower limbs stronger for enhanced balance. You could mix in some lunges and squats for better balance and form too.
Try yoga or tai chi:
A study found that people in their 60s who practiced tai chi regularly scored 90 percent in a stability test and women aged 65 or older, who practiced yoga at least twice a week showed better flexibility in their legs and an increased confidence in walking.
Try new balance routines:
Try sitting on a stability ball while watching TV or reading to improve core strength and balance.
Sleep deprivation not only affects your physical well being, but it can also impact your mood, ability to concentrate and reaction time. Research shows that out of nearly 3,000 women who were observed, those who got only four to five hours of sleep every night had a 40 percent higher chance of falling.
So, while balance may not be something you think about while hitting the gym, add it to your priority list and focus on strengthening your core and enhancing balance today onward. That way, as you age, you’ll spend more time doing the things you love to do and not worrying about falls and broken bones.
Carter, K. (2018, July 16). Seven ways to improve your balance. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jul/16/seven-ways-to-improve-your-balance
Mahoney, S. (2018, May 25). 8 Ways To Improve Your Balance. Retrieved from https://www.prevention.com/fitness/a20443104/6-ways-to-improve-your-balance/
Waehner, P. (n.d.). You Can Easily Improve Your Balance With Fitness Tools and Exercise. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfit.com/hows-your-balance-1229961