Let’s talk about balance.
More than one out of four people ages 65 and older fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Falls can lead to broken bones and head injuries and are the leading cause of injury-related deaths for this age group, the CDC says.
Falls can happen because of weakness in the lower body, or from difficulty walking and maintaining balance, among other causes.
But balance can be an issue for people of all ages, so you might as well start working on it now!
This exercise is a great starting point for anyone.
1. Stand with you feet side-by-side, maintain good posture, contract your abdominal muscles and slowly lift one leg off the floor to a comfortable position.
2. With your arms lifted slightly from your sides, hold this position for at least five seconds.
3. Each day, add one to five seconds to the pose until you can hold it for 60 seconds, without moving.
4. If you are too unsteady at the start, have someone stand next to you, or stand close to a wall or hold on to a chair.
5. Do not attempt this pose if your balance is bad; contact a personal trainer or coach at Shula’s Athletic Club to learn more about preventing falls.
--By Ricky Ali, Personal Trainer Shula’s Athletic Club
Pictured at Shula’s Athletic Club, Cynthia Bell, a client of personal trainer Ricky Ali, performs the exercise to improve her balance. Photo: Megan Jacobo.