A Question of Balance
Have you noticed your balance ain’t what it used to be? You’re not alone. As we get older (starting around age 25) our sense of balance begins to deteriorate. Staying upright as human beings is tricky business. We rely on our eyesight, our inner ear and sensory feedback from the rest of the body (ankles, knees and spine) to keep us from hitting the pavement. As none of these systems are immune from the ravages of time, we eventually find ourselves more susceptible to stumbling and falling.
Ironically, people often become inactive to reduce the chance of getting hurt, only to find themselves in a downward spiral. Sedentary behavior accelerates aging and leads to loss of physical strength and bone density, thus making falls much more serious, the loss of balance making them more likely.
It is possible however, to slow the process of deterioration by remaining active. Just as you can increase physical strength through exercise, you can also improve balance through activity. Find something that will challenge your stability and coordination. For some, it might be ballroom dancing, for others perhaps a stand up paddle board. I set up a slack line in my yard to torture myself and have a few laughs. The more proficient I get, the better I perform in anything else that requires balance. The challenge ought to be fun to keep you interested. Maybe Tai Chi or Yoga are to your liking or maybe it’s hitting golf balls. I recommend being open to everything. Find something fun to keep you interested.
Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t come easily, it ought to be challenging. The more difficult it seems, the greater the result. The more effort you put into it, the longer you may be able to stand on your own two feet.