Balance training is one of the four main types of exercises, listed as essential by the World Health Organisation. This is because balance changes over time without you noticing it until it’s too late and you experience a fall. This is highlighted in the 1999 to 2015 hospitalisation charts, showing falls account for almost half (41%) of all hospitalised injuries. Unfortunately, many people can be injured causing severe disability and pain, highlighting its seriousness.
Balance is an attribute to an age-related decline due to reduced muscle flexibility and strength, decreased ability to process visual information and slower response times. With diminished balance and mobility, it can limit an individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living and participation in leisure activities, reducing your quality of life and functionality. When you lose your confidence with your balance, you will become more reliant on walking aids, walk slower, remove yourself from social situations that you think as “risky”, causing fear avoidance behaviour and impact your mental health.
Regularly performing balance exercises will enable you to improve on the aspects mentioned and allows you to perform activities such as walking, putting clothes on the line, reaching high or low into cupboards and going up and downstairs easier. This allows for improvements in physical function, quality of life and fall-related self-efficacy.
Balance exercises for seniors are an essential part of any exercise program and you should do at least 3 or more days a week in combination with strength and aerobic training to get the best outcome possible. If unsure how to start or you need help with a balanced program, feel free to contact us.
Learn more about our Strength & Balance classes