How to Maintain Good Balance As You Age
As we age, our balance tends to be a little less on target. This can happen for many reasons. But this is not a fate you have to be resigned to. You can always do exercises that enhance balance as you age. There are also little-known secrets to preventing some of the hidden reasons your balance could go off that nobody thinks about.
The first thing you should do upon noticing your balance isn’t that great anymore:
Your balance is run by the fluid in your ears and by your eyes. If anything interferes with either of those things, it can throw your balance off. The very first thing you do upon noticing your balance is not what it used to be–is to visit the doctor. They will look into the ears, the eyes and even the brain if need be to tell you what is happening here. Older folks are in the most danger of a fall and can benefit the most from this advice.
Your ears may need to be flushed out incase there is a clogging problem. Earwax and fluid trapped in them by way of swimming or the shower may be the cause. Another issue is wearing glasses or contacts that throw your balance off as well. Sometimes all it takes is a little eyeglass change and your balance returns.
Your balance can also be off because of your shoes! As we get older, our shoe size increases because our feet flatten out more. So, if you go to the podiatrist you may well find out that you are in need of a shoe size adjustment.
Now, after all that–it just may be a byproduct of aging that requires you to do some balance and coordination exercises. The exercises outlined here are simple as well as safe and effective. You will need a high back chair that is NOT a swivel and does NOT have wheels.
Stand beside the chair and gently place your hand on the upright back of the chair. Lift your right foot as high off the ground as you can slowly until you feel you need support with your hand. Tighten your grip on the back of the chair and regain balance. Then lower foot until you can loosen the grip on the chair back. Switch feet and repeat as many times as comfortable.What this will do is give you balance and train your mind to safely know how your feet should be positioned to maintain your balance.
The next exercise is also simple and an old fashioned one–yet–physical therapists will the same technique with fancier equipment. Place a book on your head (a very light one will do) and a piece of tape in a straight line on the floor and follow it. Posture is one of the causes of degenerating balance.
Another sweet one is the sobriety test! Yes. we want you to stand on a tape with one foot in front of the other, and touch your nose with each hand and switch. Do this slowly while not looking at your feet. Make sure you have the chair next to you at all times and repeat until its perfect!