Are You Concerned About Your Lack of Balance as You Age?

Posted by Tracey Tanzola

| Occupational Therapy Physical Therapy

As we age, balance loss becomes a greater and more common problem. Many seniors sustain significant injury due to falls and often don't see the warning signs before it's too late.

If you find yourself fearful of stepping on an escalator, or when you're in crowded situations like a crowded mall and you become fearful of walking lest someone jostle you, those are all more subtle signs that your balance is starting to be impaired.

So, what to do if you know that you're having some balance loss? Here are a couple of exercises that you can consider doing right now that can help.

Shifting Weight and Breath In

To begin with, I'm going to shift my weight onto my right side. I'm going to reach up my right arm and open up my rib cage on the right, take a deep breath, look at my hand, and then I'm back on two feet. I'm never picking up the foot. I'm simply shifting the weight to my right side. Again, big breath in, look up, be tall, stretch the waist. You can do that on either side.

Cross Body Reaching

Here's another one that's great at the kitchen counter. It's called cross body reaching. You're always looking in the direction you reach. You shift your weight to that direction. You cross your arms as if you're going to reach for a mug on your shelf and then the hand goes back to the counter. You cross body reach. That involves some twisting, and twisting is really, really important for balance control. So, easy cross body reach. This allows you to maintain better balance because your weight is shifting while you're also utilizing the kitchen counter for support.

For more tips on balance strengthening exercises, contact one of our 3 outpatient clinics today.

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Author Bio:

Tracey began her career as a physical therapist over thirty-one years ago and also went on to study and receive a certification in The Feldenkrais Method of movement reeducation and NIA dance. She has been an instructor for the physical therapy assistant program and regularly teaches PTA Board review. She is passionate about movement and brings a deep understanding of anatomy and movement coordination to her practice. She currently works in the complex field of geriatrics with Therapy Specialists as well as maintaining her own Feldenkrais private practice.