Do you ever feel like you have two left feet? Do you avoid yoga because you can not hold the poses without falling over? If you answered yes to either of these questions, this blog is for you. Balance is one of the four major categories of exercise, according to the American heart association. Strength, flexibility, cardio, and balance are the four exercises to make a balanced workout plan. Balance is an especially important component as we age for fall reduction. Let's talk a bit about the three main components of balance. These components work together to keep you upright.
1. Proprioceptors: Proprioceptors are found in the nerve endings in our muscles and joints. These nerve endings tell you where you are in space. This is why when your eyes are closed, you know if you are standing or lying down.
2. Eyesight: The vestibular system is directly connected to about 20 percent of the eye's nerve fibers. We must organize and integrate information from the eyes.
3. Hearing: Our balance system relies on the maze of bone and tissue located in the inner ear. Three canals look like three circular loops. Each loop is responsible for sensing a different movement, up/down, side to side, and tilt.
As we age, what are the first things to go? Eyesight and hearing! Not to mention people who have neuropathy. The good news is our body is great at compensating for it loses. There are multiple ways to improve your balance through core strength and postural exercise. It just takes practice and consistency. Wellness 360 supports all dimensions of exercise and has a great balance and agility exercise program for fall prevention. Here are some tips for practicing at home.
Single leg stance
Stand on one leg. Use a chair, wall, or countertop for support. You can start with just your toes on the ground and then work your way up to lift your foot off the ground entirely. Work your way up to 30 seconds. Holding this pose for up to 30 seconds significantly reduces your fall risk.
Tandem Stance (heel to toe)
Using a chair, wall, or countertop for support, place one foot in front of the other. Hold this stance for up to 30 seconds each. When this becomes easy, try moving your head or arms around to make it more challenging.
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