Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Balance

I was at home changing a light bulb standing on a chair the other day and I was asked how balanced I felt. I said,  “After a few more appointments with my councillor and I should be almost there.” That was followed by stunned silence. Apparently I had a bit of a wobble when reaching up for the bulb. I suppose the real definition of that kind of balance could be seen as:
**An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady, or
**Keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall. That something is of course you.
Often as we age, our balance skills deteriorate. For this reason it is important to do exercises to improve and maintain balance throughout our lives. Balance exercises can be performed daily and in your own home. You can start out with simple balance activities and increase the difficulty as your balance improves.
Balance exercises are specific activities that help build lower extremity (or leg) muscle strength as well as improve your vestibular system, the organ associated with balance perception. Balance exercises are particularly beneficial in the elderly as they have been shown to help prevent falls.

The single leg stance is a very effective exercise for improving balance. This exercise can be modified as balance stability progresses.
Single Leg Stance:
Initial steps include:
Stand behind a chair,
Hold onto the chair back with both hands,
Slowly lift one leg off the ground,
Maintain your balance standing on one leg for 5 seconds,
Return to starting position and repeat X 5,
Perform with opposite leg.

Exercise Progression:
Follow these steps as your balance improves:
1)    Hold onto chair back with only one hand
2)    Stand near the chair for safety, but do not hold on
3)    Progress finally to lifting your leg off the ground one inch higher
Complete all three modifications to this exercise and your stability will be much improved.
Now if you are reading this and you haven’t stood up from your chair to try these exercises, then do it now so you can see what level you are up to.

Once you are able to complete this activity, which may take you many weeks to get to achieve. Then there are other exercises that you can perform at home. More than I can fit into this article.
So if there are any other exercises that you would like to try then be sure to contact Glen Barnett  at Coffs Coast Health Club on 66586222 so we can help you achieve your goals.


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