4 Seniors: How to improve your balance

Senior citizens
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As people age, balance becomes an issue.

If you do not practice your balance, it can cause falls.

Every year more than one in three people age 65 years or older fall, and the risk increases with age.

Falls can cause serious fractures, which can lead to hospital stays, disability, loss of independence and even death.

If you want to avoid using a walker or cane later in life, you should act now.

Muscle strength, aerobic training, maintaining and improving balance requires some effort.

Some basic balance exercises you can do anytime include:

  • One-legged stands: Stand on one foot for 30 seconds, or longer, then switch to the other foot. You can do this while brushing your teeth or waiting around somewhere. In the beginning, you might want to have a wall or chair to hold on to.
  • Heel rises: While standing, rise up on your toes as far as you can. Then drop back to the starting position and repeat the process 10 to 20 times. You can make this more difficult by holding light hand weights.
  • Heel-toe walk: Take 20 steps while looking straight ahead. Think of a field sobriety test.
  • Sit-to-stand: Without using your hands, get up from a straight-backed chair and sit back down 10 to 20 times. This improves balance and leg strength.

Other exercises that can help improve your balance include tai chi and yoga.

For more information on how to improve your balance click here.

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