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Balance – Importance for Seniors

Many things change as we age. Changes that include limb strength, core strength, eyesight, bone density, reaction time, coordination and balance. These are conditions that can lead to falls in older individuals. A fall can result in hospitalization or even death. A fractured hip will often lead to death within a year of the incident. Regardless of a senior’s physical abilities, balance exercises can help to prevent falls.

Balance is the ability to move without falling and capacity to distribute your weight in order to hold a stable position. The more balance is practiced the better your balance will function. Although balance exercise and training is the foundation of fall prevention, any exercise that improves endurance, muscle strength and flexibility can help prevent falls and related injuries by improving balance.

Multiple Benefits

  • Daily Activities – Whether it’s making the bed or bending over to tie shoes, better balance can help seniors successfully complete many of their daily activities involving reaching, lifting and stretching.
  • Fall Prevention – Studies show that exercise for seniors and balance training reduced falls that cause injury close to 40 percent. Better coordination will help reduce the risk of serious injury when a fall does occur.
  • Better Reaction – Should you trip or become unstable, exercise and balance routines will help prevent a serious fall because of improved reaction time.
  • Muscle Tone – Exercise and balance training help you improve your muscle tone, which improves balance and provides more cushion for your bones in case of a fall.
  • Bone Strength - Resistance exercise helps strengthen bones, and stronger bones are more resistant to fractures.
  • Improved Coordination - Poor coordination can greatly compromise your ability to exercise which will affect balance and also affect everyday tasks.
  • Burn Calories – Most balance exercises require some effort to remain stable, which can work several key muscle groups. As a result, regular balance exercises help burn calories.
  • Cognitive Ability – Regular exercise keeps the mind sharp, which means better processing of your environment and the ability to avoid unsafe situations.

Even if you are not concerned with falling, you must remember that exercise and balance training for seniors can help improve your overall health. You will have stronger muscles and bones, better cardiovascular function and improved self-confidence, which are important for your health and well-being.

Better balance is the foundation for an active life.