A Wealth of Women’s Health – How’s Your Balance?

How’s Your Balance?

According to several recent studies, your ability to balance says a lot about how long you’ll live.

When we think about fitness, we tend to focus on the usual breakdown of strength, mobility, and cardio, all of which can be done without any focus on balance and fall prevention.

You can get on a stationary bike and walk on a treadmill with handles to get your heart rate up. At many fitness centers, you can use machines for strength training that completely support your body. And you can work on your mobility while lying down!

None of these will help your standing balance.

  1. A Simple Balance Test

According to a recent NY Times article, “A study in June by a Brazilian team found that 20 percent of the 1,700 older adults tested couldn’t balance on one leg for 10 seconds or more. And that inability to balance was associated with a twofold risk of death from any cause within 10 years.”

In my Revel class this morning, I snuck in about 30 seconds of single-leg standing balance exercises. I was so proud that everyone was able to maintain their balance. They wobbled, they swayed, and they stayed on one leg.

If you can’t balance, don’t despair! It’s easy to improve.

  1. Focus on Fall Prevention

“Falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide.”

When you fall when you’re older, especially if you have low bone density, your chances of breaking a bone are greatly increased. I think we all have stories like this:

When my dad was 88, he fell in the parking lot of a hospital as he was heading to get his ears checked. He fell and broke his hip while he was getting his walker out of the car, and after surgery, he went to rehab for physical therapy. In rehab, he was in too much pain to walk again, and his dementia progressed. He wasn’t able to return home.

While the fall itself wasn’t the cause, his poor balance and inability to catch himself led to the hip fracture. His pre-existing weakness made rehab harder. My dad became an “unintentional injury death.”

III. Balance Gets Better When You Balance

I know it sounds too simple, but it’s true! Want to improve your balance? Start balancing.

The exercises outlined in the Times are:

  1. Standing, holding a chair for help, and standing on one leg with the other knee up towards the chest
  2. Body weight squats
  3. Bird dog (on all fours)
  4. Standing side leg lifts
  5. Tandem stance (standing with one foot directly in front of the other, like you’re on a tightrope)

These are all super useful, and I teach versions of all of them in my Wellness for All, (which you can join for free or donation any time). There are three sessions waiting for you, with guided workouts, and more to come!

Need more help with this? Got questions? Leave them in the comments, or contact me here at The Wellness Universe!

All information, content, and material are for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. The information supplied through or on this page, or by any representative or agent of The Wellness Universe, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. Health-related information provided through this website is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat health problems or to prescribe any medical devices or other remedies. The Wellness Universe reserves the right to remove, edit, move or close any content item for any reason, including, but not limited to, comments that are in violation of the laws and regulations formed pursuant to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. None of the posts and articles on The Wellness Universe page may be reprinted without express written permission.

The Wellness Universe introduces you to Dr. Lynn Anderson Ph. D, ND, Holistic Health Expert Leader, Author, and Speaker in partnership with The Wellness Universe, Wellness for All programming instructing her live virtual flex course: HEALTH You Are What and How You Eat

Catch the recorded session(s) and be sure to join the next LIVE class! 

Register today:  

WU 4 Book ADs

see how our self-care books are helping thousands of people around the world. Digital and paperback books are available now.

The WU Lounge AD

Self-development, self-care, and inspirational classes and sessions by Wellness Universe World Changer instructors who support your total well-being.

The Wellness Universe is here to serve your best well-being. If you are experiencing anxiety, grief, overwhelm, guilt, anger, or seeking ways to cope and get help for stress, relationships, parenting, or any other issue during this challenging time, we have wonderful resources for you to connect with. Our WU Best Help members are offering reduced rates, sliding scale payment options, and even pro-bono sessions. WU Best Help

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *