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Improving Your Balance Through Exercise

Last updated 4 years ago

Falls are a significant concern among seniors and those who suffer from balance disorders as a result of multiple sclerosis or other medical conditions. A fall can cause a hip fracture or other medical problem, resulting in reduced mobility and an increased need for home care. If your balance isn’t quite what it used to be, consider visiting a balance center at your local hospital. The rehabilitation professionals at the balance center can guide you through an exercise program that can reduce your risk of a fall.

Exercise Safety

It’s always advisable to visit your local hospital to discuss an exercise program with your physician before trying it. Your doctor can evaluate your balance and determine which exercises might be appropriate for you. He or she might also recommend modifications that can help you if you feel unsteady. For example, you can hold onto another person or a sturdy chair while doing certain exercises. As your balance improves, you may find that you no longer need these modifications.

Home Exercises

Standing on one foot can help you gain a better sense of balance. Grasp the back of a sturdy chair with one hand and lift one foot off the ground. Try to hold your position for up to 10 seconds. After returning your foot to the ground, repeat this exercise about 10 to 15 times for both feet. You can also do a heel-to-toe walk near a wall, which you can use for support as needed. Place the heel of your right foot just ahead of the toes of your left foot. While focusing on an area ahead of you, take a few steps by lining up your feet heel-to-toe. Try to do about 20 steps in this manner.

Exercise Classes

Some types of exercise classes can be helpful for improving your balance. Talk to a doctor at your local hospital about enrolling in a tai chi or yoga class for seniors. Yoga in particular has been shown to improve posture, balance, and mobility.

For balance retraining and fall prevention in the St. Petersburg area, turn to the Balance Center at Palms of Pasadena Hospital. The professionals at our Balance Center can help you learn how to improve movement coordination and overcome day-to-day challenges to safeguard your health. To discuss our broad spectrum of healthcare services, call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (855) 245-8328.

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