Better balance is a critical part of your health program. Good balance keeps you active and mobile as you age because you are more confident about avoiding a fall. These better balance guidelines are a part of my Health Guides series.
1. Better Balance — Video Transcript
Hi, I’m Margaret Martin.
Welcome to MelioGuide, and to the Guide to Better Balance. This guide is going to provide you with an overview of all the essential elements that balance involves. For some of you, you’re going, “What exactly is balance?” Since we don’t often realize that we’re using balance on a day-to-day basis, until we start to lose it.
So some of my clients will come to me and go, “You know, I was invited to a cottage, and walking on the uneven ground, I just really felt uneasy, unsure of myself, unsure of my stepping.”
Or they’re out and they’re coming in at a later hour than they used to doing, and it’s a little bit darker, and all of a sudden their footing doesn’t feel secure or sure.
Or something as simple as putting on pants, and all of a sudden they’re like, “I’m sure I used to do it always standing on one foot,” but all of a sudden they have to lean back against the door frame or against the bed to be able to put the pants on, because they were feeling uneasier, unsteady on that foot.
Balance is essential when we talk about it so much in our society, because so many people die as a result of a fall. It might not be the actual fall that kills them, but the outcome of a fall. The fracture, the resultant head injury, those kind of things that can change your life instantaneously like this. And so this guide provides you with some insight into what are the elements that are involved in maintaining a balance.
We know that our eyes, and having good vision and having the appropriate eye wear is essential. We know that the inner ear plays an important role in our balance. Those of you who’ve suffered from vertigo know that, all of a sudden your balance can change instantaneously if your inner ear is affected.
Your little joint and muscle receptors. If you ever have been to yoga class and ask you to stand on one foot, and all of a sudden you go, “Wow, when I tried it on the other foot, it’s so different. It’s so much harder,” and it could be an injury that happened 20 years ago, but you never rehabilitated that ankle or that knee, and so those little receptors never had a chance to build up again.
So elements such as those three things, but also your overall strength, the strength in your lower body, the strength in your core, and the flexibility around all these joints, especially the joints of the ankle and the hip. So that interplay of all of those things, make it such that when you could lose your balance, you can stop that fall with your foot, as opposed to stopping the fall with the foot not getting out fast enough, and therefore your hands are the next line of defense.
And for some, even that’s not fast enough and unfortunately their face or their head becomes the point of contact on the fall. And so, good balance is essential to maintaining your independence, to maintaining your ability to have the quality of life that you want to have. In this guide, you will have some guidelines on specific exercises to do, some very specific drills, some tools such as rocker boards that can and even just sometimes you don’t have to buy anything special, but using some of the cushions and the different surfaces around your house, can help you maintain your balance, build your balance.
I really encourage you to go through the guide, to ensure that your balance is at its best, and maintain that. Just a little bit of practice each day, is quite remarkable in how it can help you build, maintain, and preserve your independence. Thanks for tuning in.
2. Better Balance — Important Articles
Here are several important Better Balance articles that you will find on this website.