OK, so I may be exaggerating a little bit, balance therapy isn’t going to make you age slower or keep you young but what it can do is prevent you from having a disastrous fall. According to WHO falls are the second leading cause of accidents or unintentional injury deaths worldwide. As defined by WHO a fall is an event which results in a person coming to rest inadvertently on the ground or floor or other lower level. I am sure most of you reading this have, either yourself experienced this, or know of someone who has. I personally know a very good friend of mine who was in their early 40’s that slipped on some ice coming out of the grocery store. Thankfully, they walked away from the situation with only a fractured wrist, but it still required surgery causing them lost time at not only work but also their personal life as well. So, what can we do to avoid this being our demise?
First, start by speaking with your primary care physician and review what medications you are taking and if they are necessary or how to take steps to get off of them, discussing if you have fallen before, and what health conditions you have that may lead to you falling.
Second, KEEP MOVING. The body is meant to be in motion and the more we move the more coordination and strength you will have. Walking, hiking, and easy activities will keep you healthy and give you a better chance at stability if you were to slip or trip on something.
Third, wear appropriate shoes. We all want to wear the new fun shoes but are they appropriate for your health? Make sure that the shoes you are wearing will give you the stability needed to function on a daily basis. If you have not bought a new pair of shoes in a long time check your shoes for uneven wearing like you would the tires on your car and replace them immediately.
Fourth, keep your living spaces well lit. If you cannot see it, you will not be able to avoid it.
Finally, balance exercises, therapy and coordination exercises. These exercises do not need to be “hardcore” workouts to get results, easy exercises like sumo squats, glute raises, planks, standing marching, sit to stand, or basic flamingo stands can give a great deal of strength and awareness when doing regular daily activities. These easy exercises paired with some other physical therapy, stretching, and coordination can make the difference in what could be a life-threatening fall or just another slip.