Balance Training for Seniors – The Why and the How

airex_tab3According to NIHSeniorHealth, in the year 2008 33.4 million American adults reported that they were having problems with either dizziness or balance. Many different conditions can cause either or both of these problems. As the site summarizes, some of these conditions include BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), Labyrinthitis, and Ménière’s Disease. As we become older, falls that result from dizziness or balance problems can have severe repercussions including broken bones.

Some balance problems can be signs of more severe conditions like stroke or MS, so it is very important to see a doctor if you have continued balance problems or dizziness. If your condition is one of those mentioned above, there are many methods of treatment your doctor may recommend. For example, if your doctor believes your balance problem is being caused by a build-up of fluids in the ear, he or she may suggest you reduce the amount of sodium in your diet. In other cases, your doctor may suggest gentle exercises that can help loosen particle build-ups in your ears.

Balance Exercises

Even if you are not currently experiencing balance problems, you might be advised to do some exercises on a regular basis that can help you maintain or improve your current balance skills. The Mayo Clinic offers a few suggestions for exercises that can help build balance. There are also some good videos available on Youtube. When you try any of these, make sure someone is watching you the first few times in case you lose your balance.

Some basic balance exercises from ACE Fitness

Some agility and balance exercise ideas for seniors

Exercises that can be done using a chair as support

No matter what kinds of balance exercises you are engaging in, the right kind of support surface can be very helpful. You might want to explore our Airex® Exercise Mats and Balance Products if you are going to be doing a lot of balance training. The mats offer gentle support for your feet and are comfortable to stand on, which can also help build confidence as you strive to improve your balance. Preferred by many physical therapists, the destabilizing characteristics of the Airex Balance Pad and Beam create the ideal training products for balance and core stability.

Balance can decrease as we get older, but it does not have to leave us. Balance is one of those facets of life that can actually be improved simply by consistently doing the work. If you are suffering from issues due to dizziness or imbalance, visit your doctor and see what is recommended for you.

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