Hanging in the Balance

Balance...many of us take it for granted and don’t really realize the importance of it.  For the elderly, balance is related to confidence while out in the world, the ability to walk and perform everyday activities and the prevention of falls.  For the middle aged, balance is about keeping active with confidence, weekend warrioring and keeping up to our kids. For the kids, it’s about high performance in athletics and/or just playing basketball with the girls (or guys).

Let’s talk briefly about the 3 things that can affect balance.  First, the inner ear and its workings: if the inner ear is damaged or obstructed, balance can be affected.  Second is sight: if you can’t see, it’s super hard to balance. Third is our proprioceptors (yes, I just used a 5 syllable word): tiny receptors in our tendons which send and receive messages to and from our brains to tell us where our body is positioned in space.

While keeping all of that in mind, there is a way to maintain and even IMPROVE your balance!!!  It’s called practice:) Here are some ways to do that:

  1. Stand with your feet right together, hold for 30 seconds.

  2. Stand on one leg, hold it for 30 seconds or more.  

  3. Walk on an imaginary tightrope, forward and backward.

If 1 & 2 are too easy, close your eyes.  You can make any balance exercise more difficult by doing that.  You can also make it more difficult by creating an unstable surface, like standing on a Bosu ball, foam pad, or rocker board.

Consistent practice is necessary for improvement.  Keep at it! You’ll notice a difference in no time!

Questions?  Call Karen at 973-738-2400 or email at peakptnj@gmail.com