Low Level Balance Exercises
This week we are talking about balance, and its importance in fall prevention as we age. Balance is made up of 3 main systems: our sensory system, our visual system, and our vestibular system or inner ear. These three systems combine to make our balance and maintain our upright posture when we move and while we are still. If any one of these systems is compromised, it can decrease our balance.
As we age, we rely more and more on our visual system, which is why more falls occur at night, or in low lighting situations. To prevent this possible problem, we can do a few exercises to improve our balance specifically. You can perform all of these exercises in front of your kitchen sink or counter to ensure you have something sturdy to steady yourself.
Single legged stance is a great way for us not only to improve our balance, but also our single legged strength and stability. A good goal is to be able to hold this position for 10 seconds.
Feet together, Eyes closed is a great exercise to work on which takes away our visual system, and makes our sensation and vestibular system work. Another good goal is to be able to maintain this position for 10 seconds hands free.
Calf raises are another great exercise to perform to improve your ankle stability and strength. Often times falls can be prevented by having stronger more mobile ankles and performing 2-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions can greatly increase your ankle strength.
Overall, balance is a complex issue involving many different systems, but with the right approach everyone can reduce their risk of falls and improve their balance. If you or someone you know struggles with balance, or has a history of falls, please call one of our clinics to schedule a free screen start your journey to becoming better than your best!