Here’s an aspect of health that many of us take for granted: good balance. Yet a lot of your body’s resources go into keeping you on your feet, as this article in Healthbeat explains:

“How do we keep our balance? The inner ear, which senses head motions, is an important part of the intricate system of balance. So is the body’s somatosensory system, which relays the feeling of the ground beneath your feet. And, of course, vision tips you off to obstacles around you. The brain takes in all this information, plans our movements, and carries them out. “Balance is a complex system,” Manor says. “Especially as we get older, cognition becomes a big part of it.” Keeping the mind fit keeps us mentally sharp and helps us to navigate the ever-shifting obstacle course of the world.”

When we are young, most of us have relatively good balance – we don’t ave to work at it, it comes naturally. Illnesses, inner ear problems or medications may cause problems that should warrant a consultation with a doctor. As we age, the importance of balance increases, particularly for fall prevention. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospital visits for people 65 and older. According to the CDC, more than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year, with 20% to 30% suffering moderate to severe injuries.

But maintaining good balance, strength and mobility should not just be important when we age: The National Institute of Health says that to get all of the benefits of physical activity, we should include all four types of exercise — endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Keeping sharp, active and physically fit can help us bounce back from illnesses and injuries and can also help slow the aging process.

Add balance exercises to your fitness regime

Whatever your age, it’s never too early or too late to start strengthening your balance. You can improve balance by walking or through everyday activities – or you can engage in some balance-specific exercises.

Here’s a good article on balance and accompanying infographic from The Fix that offers additional information on balance and some simple balance exercises.

Need more help? If your employer is a member of TotalCare Wellness, our certified fitness coaches can help you with more fitness tips and exercises – why not give a call.?

Source: Blog


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