Balance is something you might not think about often, but it’s something you depend on every day for simple activities like walking, getting up from a chair, or leaning over to tie your shoes.
The fact is, the ability to balance naturally begins to decline as we get older, starting between 40 and 50 years of age. The good news is that you can take steps to maintain and improve your balance, starting now!
Here’s a closer look at the benefits of balance training:
Falls are the leading cause of injury and injury death among adults over age 65, and one out of every four older adults will fall each year. However, falls are preventable and don’t need to be an inevitable part of aging. Exercises that focus on balance and strength training can help reduce the chances of falling. There are also special fall-prevention programs designed to help older adults not only avoid falls but learn to fall in a safer way that helps to prevent serious injury.
Enhance cognitive function
Balance training has been shown to help older adults enhance some cognitive functions, such as memory and spatial cognition. Balance exercises are also a good way to ease into a consistent fitness routine, which can provide even greater cognitive benefits. Regular exercise of moderate intensity, such as walking, helps to protect memory and thinking skills. If you’re new to exercise or coming back from a period of inactivity, focusing on balance first can get your body ready for more difficult activities and reduce the risk of injury.
Falls can be life-changing, both physically and emotionally. Injuries caused by falls can lead to a loss of mobility and independence, which may lead to social isolation. Even when there is no injury, older adults who fall once are also more likely to fall again, and the fear of falling can keep them from enjoying their usual activities. Being proactive about balance training can make a big difference when it comes to quality of life and independence as we get older.
Learn fitness and balance tips from Bethany Village!
At Bethany Village, we take a holistic approach to care, emphasizing physical, social, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. That’s why our wellness and fitness activities are so popular among our senior living residents! We’re proud to offer balance classes and evidence-based fall prevention programs to help our residents stay safe and maintain their highest level of independence as they grow older.