Thank you. Losing over 100lbs, I struggled with regaining my balance in a thinner body. It has been a challenge. Additionally, as someone with clinical depression, balance is affected. Great ideas to help me continue to improve. Love the closing eyes exercise!
I had to laugh at the tip to close your eyes! I am blind and my balance is an issue. I try to work on it, but some things just seem out of my training level! Sight is important to balance. But, it makes you realize how important sight is... I took so much for granted before losing my eyesight! Great tips if you can see!
4/3/2013 7:13:44 PM
Interesting ideas. I have back, hip, and knee problems, and keep a fairly wide stance much of the time to alleviate the pain. I would be terrified to try any exercise with my eyes closed. I have an extremely poor sense of my body and rarely take off my glasses... even in the shower (I keep the spray at shoulder height) and at the chiropractor's. I get extremely disoriented very quickly and go into panic mode. I have a heck of a time getting Xrays or MRIs... the techs usually take my glasses and tell me to follow them, which is silly, because I can't see them to follow them and I wobble and start to fall... so I ask that they take my glasses after I am on the table! After surgery once, the post-op nurses couldn't wake me, but the doc had my glasses in her pocket, and when she put my glasses on me, I popped up and awake. Even with my glasses on, from time to time I lose my body sense and repeatedly crash into a doorway... in the apartment where I have spent 18 years. The doorways never change, and I get frustrated with myself because I'd think I should KNOW to go through the doorway two inches to the left! I have nightlights in several rooms... crashed into my bedroom wall racing to the bathroom early one dark morning. I've broken my toes more times than I can count. So, sorry, but I won't be trying to exercise with my eyes closed! Better balance would be nice, but not with my high risk of injury.
Working with balance is HUGE for me. After surviving a severe brain insult some years ago, I've worked my way from relearning to walk (amongst many other things) to adding balance/core strengthening aspects into my workouts through the additions of bosu and physio balls, one-legged work, jumping rope blind folded, ... , and a 5x a week yoga practice. Balancing poses are challenging for me. I once dreaded them. Now I say, bring 'em on!
I truly do think balance is a core problem for those of us 65 and older. I am heavy, diabetic, with a bad back, serious arthritis in both knees, and very sore feet with two nonmalignant tumors. Walking is painful and the mornings are really a struggle. I fell last year and broke my arm and my back, although they have healed nicely. I do stretching and focused breathing from a seated position because that is all I think I can safely do for now. As the weight comes down, I expect some pain issues to reduce and maybe by the end of 2013 I can safely do some standing exercises. Forward, slow and safe is my goal.
It's really important as we get older, especially if we experience knee pain, that we work on our balance. Proprioception is the ability we have at any given moment to sense the position and movements of our body. We should be able to tell without even looking if our legs are bent or straight, crossed or uncrossed. This ability is crucial when we want to do an activity that involves getting something done using our vision. For example, walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night without falling, pushing down on the gas or brake pedal in your car, or finding your keys in your pocket all involve proprioception. We risk knee injury if we lose any of that ability to sense our position or movement. For more info. on improving your balance and relieving minor knee problems at home, read the book, Treat Your Own Knees, by Jim Johnson, a physical therapist at Emory University.
When I started the Livestrong program at the Y, one of my goals was to improve balance. We worked on that and many other things for 9 weeks. At the final assessment, I had increased from 1 second to 5 seconds on a foot, but I needed to touch a stabile surface with an extended index finger.
So then the ear doctor said my ears were great, nothing there to cause the balance, migraine, and tinnitus problems.
Xrays at the chiropractors showed my neck going every which way, and my head was sitting on my spine at a 30 degree angle. After daily visits for 3 weeks, migraines and tinnitus were gone. And I could balance for 30 seconds with no need to touch anything.
I appreciate your suggestions and I plan to follow them to be sure so other issues pop up here.
But you might have unknown physical problems that need to be evaluated by an ENT specialist or a chiropractor.
I am told it is the norm for one side to be stronger and more well balanced that the other. It's good to find something that I am normal in. lol I have been working on balance in some of the classes offered at the gym and am hoping that my yoga classes will also be helpful with this. It is amazing when you find out just how unstable you really are.
EXCELLENT!! I am legally deaf and fight with balance issues on a daily basis. Sometimes, I lose my balance and I am pretty good at defying gravity and not fall. But, I have been concerned that when I get up in to my 50's and beyond, that I would not be so lucky. Now, I know I have a weapon to use to help me get my confidence back that being deaf is only a challenge not a threat!! Thank you so much for this article...it gave me much needed hope and confidence for my future!! :-)
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