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Protect and Perfect Your Balance

By Sandy Schroeder

Whatever your age, balance is critical.  When you hit the courts, rush down the steps or try to carry one too many things, falls happen. Or, if you or someone in your family is dealing with the changing effects of aging, medical  conditions, or medications, it can be tricky to avoid falls.               

Harvard Health suggests preventing falls by strengthening balance with easy exercises and evaluating your home to make it safer. If you have issues with your balance, begin with a visit to your doctor to discuss your health and medications before starting new exercise routines.    

Balance Life With Exercise

You may already be moving well with regular walking or biking. Or you may be looking for new balance exercises.

Find ways to strengthen lower body muscles - Walk, bike or climb stairs. Or use a recumbent bike or stair stepper if your balance needs quite a bit of work.

Try a tai chi class - Find one online and follow the gentle swaying motions that move the weight from one foot to the other as the body swivels and arms and legs reach out. That sounds complicated but it is really easy when you try it. Just follow the instructor and move slowly to improve your balance. If local classes are available in your community, observe one and then give it a try.

Employ stretching - Ease tight or sore muscles that can impact your posture and balance. Try a morning and evening stretch session to loosen up and move better. Keep a mat on your patio and another one near your bed.

Put yoga to work - Follow an online yoga class that fits you or try one at your local hospital, or community center. Strengthen and loosen tight muscles to improve posture and balance. Talk with a yoga instructor to see where you should start. Yoga classes range all the way from hot yoga to chair yoga with a spot for everyone.

Wherever you are with exercise right now, you are sure to improve your balance with the right ones. Start gradually and speak with your doctor and your chiropractor to find the best ones for you.

At the same time, take a good look around your house if you have a senior in your home, or use a lot of steps.  For seniors, remove loose rugs, reposition furniture, and arrange for safe lighted paths at night. For the whole family's safety keep the stairs clear of all loose items, and slip-proof them if needed.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Euless, Tex.

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