As we age our balance gradually worsens. This is a natural process, however there are exercises you can do to improve your balance so that it does not impact your day-to-day life.
Causes of balance problems
- Weak muscles as we age our core muscles, leg muscle and joint mobility can weaken. Weak core muscles make it more difficult to correct ourselves. For example, when you were younger you may have found it a lot easier to stand on one leg than you do now. While it is also likely connected to your vestibular system (in your inner ear), it could be
- Health conditions that cause dizziness or loss of consciousness
- Poor eyesight makes it more difficult to see obstructing objects and judge depth
- Slower reflexes mean our body has less time to react and correct our position if we trip over a rolled-up rug for example. This makes the likelihood of the trip turning into a fall greater.
If you have noticed your balance worsening, and there is no medical cause, it is important to take steps to reverse the decline. An effective way to improve your balance is through exercise.
Exercise to improve your balance
If you are looking to try some simple balance exercises from home the NHS has an easy balance exercises guide
Here are some other examples that you can try at home:
- Shifting your weight from side to side
- Standing on one foot
- Walking heel to toe
- Using a balance board or stability ball
- Doing tai chi, yoga or Pilates
Help to improve your balance
Fortunately, balance and muscle weakness is something that we can work on and build up through exercise. One You Leeds’ offers free Move More exercise classes which will help you to build muscle strength. You can sign up to the programme for free on our website.