Maintaining balance can be difficult at any age or fitness level. When you lose your balance, you are at risk of injury that can range… from mild to serious. These injuries can include include minor bumps and bruises or hip fractures, broken bones and sprains that require hospitalization and serious medical care. Although falls and the possibility of injury can be scary, there are steps you can take to help prevent falls from happening.
Diet and beverage items play a vital role in your overall health. You need to make healthy choices. Be conscious of the fact that some foods are healthier choices than others, mostly for the things that you can’t see when you look at food, like bananas or drink like soda.
Food and beverages that contain a high amount of salt can be detrimental to your balance control. When you consume high salt foods and beverages, your blood pressure begins to rise. As your blood pressure rises, you start to feel a little dizzy and lightheaded. When you feel this way, you lose your balance. It opens the door for a fall to happen and possible injury as well.
You can make simple changes to your diet by picking healthier food choices. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages at all cost. Eat foods that are low sodium or salt-free to ensure that your blood pressure remains at a healthy level. It will keep the dizziness away and prevent that lightheaded feeling from coming over you. It will allow you to maintain balance control and avoid falls or injuries.
Areas of low light make it challenging to see obstacles that may be in your way as you move through your home. Encountering these barriers will throw you off balance, making you stumble and fall in the darkness.
Low light settings also have a way of playing tricks on your eyes. Your eyes scan the room, trying to take in everything that is present there. As your eyes move back and forth, surveying the room, disorientation can occur. You attempt to take a step towards something comfortable or familiar in the room yet you stumble and fall instead.
You can take precautions to prevent stumbles in the darkness or low light areas of your home. Keep a small lamp on your nightstand or bedside table that you can easily turn on before getting out of bed in the middle of the night if you need to get up for any reason. Add high wattage lamps to your living room and nightlights in the hallways.
Making your home brighter at night will help you navigate your way around more quickly. You will remain alert and aware of your surroundings. All of this works together to give you optimal balance control which prevents falls from happening.
Maintaining an active lifestyle increases your mobility which offers more stability. More stability as you move gives you greater balance control of your body.
Pick exercises that focus on building stability in the center core of your body. It is the area that contains your torso, back and stomach areas. These areas are what keep your body upright, moving forward and standing tall. Adding strength to this area will work to strengthen your balance control, reducing the chances of sustaining a fall.
Consider trying one of these exercises as a starting point.
If exercise classes aren’t your thing, there are some exercises that you can do from the comfort of your home. Take a look at a few of these types of exercises.
Start by finding a focal point ahead of you. Pick up your left foot and set it down so that the heel touches the toe of your right foot. Pretend you are walking on a tightrope. Continue alternating heel-toe touches for 20 steps.
Hold your arms out to the side, palms facing towards the floor. Begin walking in a straight line and find a focal point on the floor ahead of you. As you walk, hold your back leg up for three seconds before placing it back down. Continue walking in this manner until you have taken 20 steps.
Place your hand on the back of a chair. Life one leg off the ground and holding it for ten seconds. Place your foot back on the floor and repeat actions with your other foot. Continue alternating legs until you have completed five motions on each leg.
Complete each of these exercise at least twice a week and you will start increasing your mobility and balance control in no time.
One of the best ways you can improve balance is to have a positive outlook on life. Stick to your exercise plan. Spend time with family and friends. Do activities you enjoy, venture outdoors or travel to destinations you’ve always dreamed of going.
Instead of living in fear of falls occurring, embrace the strength and balance control you are gaining. It’s a whole new life for you!
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*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living