- Balance is the ability to maintain stability and steadiness when sitting or standing. Balance issues hamper the ability to stand, walk, and climb stairs with control.
- Balance disorders are among the most common in people over the age of 65. Loss of balance also increases the risk of falls, which is the leading cause of injuries in older people.
- Many factors contribute to loss of balance like muscle weakness and unstable joints, vision issues, inner ear problems, peripheral neuropathy, side effects of certain medications, and postural hypotension.
- The body has three primary sensory systems that integrate to create postural stability- your vision, the vestibular system (the balance center) in your inner ear, and proprioceptors (sensors of position and movement in the feet and legs). The improper functioning of any of these three systems impacts the balance.
- Chief symptoms of balance problems are unsteadiness, vertigo, and light-headedness.
- Regular physical activity in the form of walking, gentle strength training, and balance training goes a long way in maintaining good balance and improving quality of life.
- Some simple steps can help you improve your balance-
- Stand on one leg for 10-15 seconds.
- Walk heel to toe in a straight line for 20 steps.
- Do heel raises ten times, holding each raise for 2 seconds.
- Side stepping-20 steps in both directions.
- Sit to stand five times.
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