06 Feb Balance As We Age
Loss of balance is a reality we all will face at some point in our lives. If you are fortunate enough, you don’t really think about your balance which means you have not had a dangerous trip or fall. However, as we age this becomes a pain point for many and contributes to a lack of independence.
Balance starts declining after the age of 40. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, this is the leading cause of injuries that result in seniors being admitted to the hospital.
As we age, we lose muscle tone and bone density which are both key components to keeping us balanced. In addition, there can be joint swelling, cognitive decline, vertigo, arthritis and a loss of agility and mobility, which all contribute to balance loss.
According to Osteoporosis Canada, people should be including balance work as well as postural exercises daily. Strength training and cardiovascular exercises are recommended but less regularly. They suggest 2-3 days/week for light weight training and 150 minutes/week of moderate aerobic exercises.
The most important piece (to ensure you are getting better by the decade!) is balance and postural work. Balance and posture exercises are the foundation to any properly designed Pilates class tailored to adults over 40. This is a key reason why I see so many people in my Pilates classes as the movement feels good as they age.
Working on balance is like training a muscle. If you want to improve it, you have to work on it regularly. Our bodies can do amazing things when we move them in the right way.
By practicing balance regularly, you will:
✔️ Strengthen the stabilizing muscles in your body
✔️ Strengthen your core
✔️ Feel more confident in your body
✔️ Feel more agile
✔️ Minimize the risk of nasty trips and falls
Aging can have a negative connotation, but it should be fun and include some of the best years of your life. It is important to age beautifully and movement is key to keeping you happy, healthy and living life to the fullest!
Christine Kirkland is a certified Pilates instructor offering Online Pilates classes proven to help become stronger, improve balance, mobility and posture. To learn more please click here.