Strengthening the lower body and improving balance is important as we get older.
In previous blog posts this week, I have talked about a number of bodyweight exercises for improving lower body strength, including:
Balance issues are one of those things that happen to most everyone as they get older and can have a significant effect on quality of life and maintaining independence.
One study showed that seniors experience more than 35 million accidental falls a year, and more than 8 million injuries from falls.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
- Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
- Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.
- Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
- More than 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falling; usually by falling sideways.
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
- In 2015, the total medical costs for falls totaled more than $50 billion.
Accidental falls are obviously a considerable problem, and something to be concerned about, or at least aware of.
All three of those exercises mentioned above — bodyweight squats, lunges, and step-ups — require a certain amount of balance control to perform the movement, and are important for building and maintaining lower body strength, but there are also some exercises specific to improving balance.
Instead of trying to explain some of these balance exercises and how they work, here is a link to a website with a lot of great information.
to find out more about balance practice.
You can do it!