Young people might not realize the importance or the struggle for balance. They can will their body to move at different pace, with agility. The fear of falls is also not something they consciously think about. The implications of a fall are different for them too. Perhaps slight pain or some embarrassment.
Alas, it is the older people for whom balance, and coordination are a challenge! Balance does not come naturally to them; their coordination is also relatively poor. Agility is a long-forgotten concept. Something as simple as getting off the chair is a tedious task for many.
And a fall implies soft tissue injury that will cause intense pain in a good case, and the worst-case scenario is a fracture that has them scheduling appointment with their Orthopedic Surgeon in Lahore.
Where Does The Balance Go?
Aging is a gruesome process. Body starts to decline, cells start deteriorating. However, aging is set into place after around 30s only. Although you might feel it right away, but subtle changes start to happen like slowed stride, visions problems. These then aggravate as people get to their 50s and 60s.
Moreover, the process of balance and coordination suffers not just because of the aging of the musculoskeletal but also due to declining nervous system. Neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease also severely impede coordination. However, there is no way to remedy or completely avoid these diseases.
At times, certain medication can also be responsible for balance issues.
Benefits Of Improving Balance
The biggest benefit of working towards better balance is the prevention of injuries. A large number of people die every year due to the falls, and the resulting complications. Fractures are hard to mend with old age.
Other than prevention of fall, better balance is also necessary for greater mobility. It allows people to move freely, without fretting the consequences. People also are also able to carry out their daily tasks better.
Balance also plays a pivotal role in athletic performance. It improves posture, stability and naturally, strengthens mobility.
How to improve balance?
It is important to timely realize the importance of having foresight into the issues that aging brings and take steps to preempt them. Exercise during midlife is an excellent way to improve balance and defer the decline of the muscles.
Following are 5 ways you can work towards improved balance:
A great way to improve muscle tone and thus coordination is by simply stretching. A good stretch is great for loosening tight muscles. Consequently, balance also improves.
Yoga is a holistic exercise regimen. Many of its asanas are aimed at strengthening the core and balance as well. These are also rather easy to do. Yoga is great for improving balance for when the body is in motion, and as well when still.
3 Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a set soothing, gentle exercises that target mental and physical health, both. It involves movements that require shifting of weight from one limb to another, thereby targeting the coordination and balance of the person. When done with expert, Tai Chi helps in improving balance greatly.
4 Sleep well
You snooze, you lose is fine principle to abide by if your sleep time is more than the requisite 7-9 hours. However, if you fail to get sufficient shuteye, you will very likely lose in that case as well.
Lack of quality shuteye impairs reaction time. It slows down reflexes. More alarming is the fact that this happens even in case of short-term sleep deprivation. Hence, person is more susceptible to poor balance and accidents.
So, for better balance, get better sleep.
5 Lower body exercises
Make sure that your lower limbs are sufficiently strengthened. Lower body exercises like walking, climbing, cycling etc. are also very effective in fortifying the muscles of the lower body.
Chair stands are also great for strengthening lower body. They simply involve standing up from and sitting down in a chair without external aides. This exercise should be repeated around 10-15 times in a row. If it’s draining you, you can try to do partial squats as well.
Side leg lifts are also helpful. Stand in front a console or counter; something that comes to your waist and you can hold on to. Then, lift your leg to the side, with the heels pointing outward and toes inward.
It is imperative that you be safe when doing these exercises. It they are very challenging, do them around an aide so you do not fall down. In case injury is sustained, visit your Orthopedic Surgeon in Islamabad immediately lest the issue aggravates.