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Take Steps to Keep Your Balance

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us have had minor mishaps when we are in a hurry or distracted. If you have slipped on the steps or fallen on slick tile, you know what can happen when you lose your balance.  

If you or someone in your family has suffered a fall or had to limit activities because of problems with balance, you also know how important the issue is for mobility and independence. 

WellAndGood.com suggests you monitor your balance and take steps to keep it up to par.  When you do, more new benefits will occur. 

  • More freedom to do whatever you wish at home or away 
  • More power on the court,  green, or field of your choice. 
  • Less risk for incidental falls 
  • Improved walking or running performance 
  • Improved posture with a better self-image 

Check Your Balance 

Stand near a wall for backup support.  Raise one foot an inch or two from the floor as you balance on the other foot. See how long you can hold this position before you have to touch the wall or put your raised foot down. If you cannot hold this position for more than 10 seconds you may be heading for a fall and it's time to make some changes. 

Whatever your balance test shows, start working on ways to improve it. If you need additional assessments of your balance, see your doctor for recommendations and approval before beginning new exercises such as these. 

Exercise Your Options for Good Balance 

WellAndGood.com reminds us that balance is a moving target. We are constantly making it better or worse depending on what we do. Keep moving and doing what you enjoy with the help of exercise.

Do some heel lifts - Stand up and lift the balls of your feet keeping the heels hovering off the ground. Try for 10 reps and add some music. 

Stand on one leg whenever you can - Do some one-legged work while you brush your teeth, chat on the phone, whip up a salad for dinner or participate in a Zoom meeting. Show your brain you can multi-task while you balance.  

Go barefoot - Whenever you can, walk barefoot outside or inside on a lot of different surfaces. This can provide a variety of feedback to all of the structures in your feet. Compare the feeling of walking on grass to the smooth slick surface of bathroom tile or the warm softness of plush carpet. Your feet will learn to adapt. 

Put yoga to work - One of the key components of yoga is balance. Along with flexibility, strength and mobility, yoga classes or sessions at home can help you polish your balancing skills. Discover how the one-legged tree pose, warrior III or half-moon pose can help. If you are all new, observe a class online or in your community. 

Whatever you do, make balance a priority and it will repay you for your efforts. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Seal Beach, Calif.

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