Why do seniors need to practice balance training? A multitude of things change as you age, not the least of which is muscle tone, eyesight and basic limb strength. These are just a few of the things that can lead to falls in older individuals, which can result in hospital stays or even death.
According to recent studies, one in five hip fractures in older adults leads to death within one year of the incident. Secondary infection after surgery, pneumonia and exacerbation of underlying disorders (the issue that caused the fall in the first place) are all reasons individuals have a higher mortality rate after a hip fracture. Of course, this is not the only reason seniors should consider adding balance training to their routine.
A good balance routine added to a regular exercise regimen will help seniors stay mobile longer than their non-exercising counterparts. Balance is the ability to move without falling and distribute your weight in order to hold a stable stationary position. It is like anything else in life, the more you practice, the better it will function.
Feeling unstable on your feet can be a vicious cycle if you let it. First you feel a little unsteady when performing certain activities, next thing you know, you are avoiding that activity and reducing your overall mobility. Since you are not moving as much as you used to, your strength and balance are reduced, leading to more instability on your feet.
Exercise and balance training provide multiple benefits for seniors, not the least of which is fall prevention. Here are a few other benefits you can enjoy:
- Muscle tone- exercise and balance routines help you improve muscle tone, which means better balance and more cushion for your bones in case of a fall.
- Better Reaction- Should you become slightly overbalanced, exercise and balance routines give you better reaction time to catch yourself before you fall.
- Bone Strength- exercise, particularly resistance training, builds stronger bones, which means fewer breaks.
- Cognitive Ability- regular exercise keeps the mind sharp as well, which means better processing of your environment and the ability to avoid risky situations.
Even if you are not overly concerned with falling, you must remember that exercise and balance routines for seniors can help improve your overall health. You will have stronger muscles and bones, better cardiovascular function and improved self confidence, all of which are great for your health and well being.
As we age things, begin to change. Our eyesight dims, muscles can weaken and our ability to navigate life can become a challenge. Exercise and balance training are great ways to improve health and mobility while increasing your day to day safety at home and around town.