If you stop to think about it, maintaining our upright human posture on two legs is pretty tricky! Staying balanced requires instantaneous coordinated efforts from the brain, muscles, nervous system, ears, eyes and even the joints.
Most of us manage good balance effortlessly (for the most part) until we start to age. Then changes to our vision, ear canal issues, muscle loss and medication use can cause decline in our balance. Missteps come more easily, tripping is more common and recovery is more difficult. You might have noticed that walking on uneven ground is a bit more challenging, or that you are less stable walking in the dark.
All these are signals reminding us to tone up our balance, and the good news is that everyone can improve balance dramatically with just a few simple, mindful exercises. Cultivating good balance should be central to everyone’s bone health program. In fact, studies repeatedly show that balance improvement — through tai chi, yoga, strength training or simple balance exercises — even reduces fracture rates.
In the video below, our fitness expert Gina Galli and I demonstrate a few simple activities that can help you regain excellent balance right now. We also demonstrate a new Better Bones balance gadget that I really like — the OPTP Pro Balance Pad. Hope you enjoy our demo!
I’m Dr. Susan Brown. I am a nutritionist, medical anthropologist, writer, and speaker. Get my free weekly newsletter here.