Generally our sense of balance worsens with age and leads to falls, which can cause head and other injuries. Hip fractures in particular can lead to serious health complications and can threaten independence.
As we age, balance can be weakened by medical conditions and medications, uncorrected vision problems and a lack of flexibility.
A combination of walking, strength training and specific workouts can improve balance and prevent falls, particularly in older adults.
Walking is a safe exercise that improves balance by building lower-body strength. Additionally, it yields the benefits of aerobic exercise.
If you aren’t used to exercising, a physiatrist or physical therapist can design a program for you.
If you normally walk with a cane or walker, use it as you begin your plan, adding minutes as you feel strong enough. It’s the minutes that count, not the miles.
The ultimate goal is generally 150 minutes of walking per week. If that’s not possible for you, make your goal to walk today more than you walked yesterday.
Harvard Medical School HEALTHbeat, August 23, 2012