As we age, maintaining balance and flexibility becomes more important than ever. Falls are a major cause of injury in adults ages 65 and older. You can reduce your risk of falling by taking preventive steps, such as doing exercises designed to improve your balance and flexibility and making small adjustments to your home.
Exercises for balance
Good balance enables you to:
- walk with stability
- get up from a chair without falling
- climb stairs without tripping
- bend over without falling
Here are two exercises to help maintain and improve your balance:
Standing on one foot. Start by holding on to a sturdy chair. Stand on one foot and hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times with each leg. Once you are confident, try letting go of the chair, but remain near it in case it is needed.
Walking heel-to-toe. Find a spot where you can walk approximately 20 steps without interruption (a hallway or large open room works well). Focus on a spot in front of you and walk 20 steps in a straight line with the heel of your foot touching the toe of your other foot with each step.
Evidence-based therapies for balance disorders
Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas offers vestibular rehabilitation therapy at both our Beaumont and Orange Outpatient Therapy locations. Our clinically trained staff provides the latest evidence-based treatments.
Vestibular rehabilitation is a specialized form of therapy that alleviates symptoms of vestibular disorders. Our staff creates individualized programs to retrain the body’s awareness senses that correspond with the inner ear, vision and/or receptors in muscles and joints. Therapies may include:
- balance exercises
- eye movement exercises
- flexibility training
- strengthening exercises
Speak with your doctor
Falls do not have to be a part of getting older. Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
For more information on vestibular rehabilitation therapy, call the Baptist Beaumont Hospital Vestibular Rehabilitation Program at(409) 212-5870 or visit www.bhset.net-balance.