image

Improve your balance in 5 minutes

How’s your balance? It’s probably not crossed your mind unless you’ve ever had a fall.

You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s just one of those things and there’s not much you can do about it. In fact, 41% of over 70s don’t realise how important good strength and balance is to reduce falls, according to research commissioned by Ageing Better.

We’ve probably all experienced a fall at some point, whether it’s tripping over the cat, slipping on icy pavements or catching your heel in the pavement. Most often the only thing that’s hurt is our pride. But as the years go by, there’s more chance of a fall causing injury, especially as our risk of osteoporosis also increases with age.

Each year around 30% of people aged 65 and over and half of those aged 80 and over experience a fall; this accounts for over 4 million hospital bed days every year. Many of these falls can be prevented by doing the right type of exercise. Things like tai chi, dancing, yoga and heavy gardening are all great activities to improve our strength and balance.

 

Before you try these simple exercises, let’s test your balance:*

  • Stand in a safe space with flat shoes or bare feet and hands on hips
  • Have a sturdy chair at your side to hold on to if you need it
  • Soften the knee on your supporting leg then lift one foot off the floor
  • Start the timer as you close your eyes – it’s easier if you get someone to do the timing for you
  • Stop the timer as soon as you have to put your foot down or if you move the supporting foot
  • Repeat on the other side and take the best of 3 readings to get your score

How did you get on?

Here’s the average for your age group:

Under 40: 15 seconds
Age 40-49: 13 seconds
Age 50-59: 8 seconds
Age 60-69: 4 seconds
Age 70-79+: 3 seconds

Don’t despair if your score is lower than expected. Here’s a couple of easy ways to improve your balance which you can do in the bathroom and kitchen, remember to practice them every day:

Stand on one leg when you brush your teeth; one minute on each leg is ideal, just hold onto the sink if you need to steady yourself.

Lift and lower your heels slowly when you’re standing at the kitchen sink, try to hold for 10 seconds each time.

This short video from Move it or Lose it – who specialise in fitness for the over 50s -shows you how you can improve your balance in just 5 minutes.

Award winning fitness expert, Julie Robinson, has developed a range of resources to help millions of over 50s to stay strong, active and healthy. Find out more here

Use the discount code – Friend50 – to get 50% off the video club (normally £4.99 month) where you can access exercise routines 24/7

*If you suffer from dizziness or have any health concerns, please consult a medical professional before trying any new exercise.

ADVERTORIAL
Disclaimer
All content on Silversurfers.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated at all as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Silversurfers will not be responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content on www.silversurfers.com and we are also not liable for the content of any external websites or links from or to Silversurfers to any other websites. Please always consult your own doctor if you’re in any way concerned about any aspect of your health

Have you got a health question?

We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a question of your own, their, "Ask the Expert" service allows you to ask the team of friendly, experienced nurses, pharmacists and midwives about any health topic and they'll get back to you with an answer as soon as they’re able.* So if you have something that’s been bothering you, whether it concerns you or someone close to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Click below to submit your query online.

ASK THE EXPERT

* Nurses are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Midwives and pharmacists are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 8am to 4pm; and Sunday, 8am to 12pm.
Actual response time will depend on the nature of your enquiry and availability of appropriately qualified experts but the team will always aim to get back to you within 24 hours.
Please note that our Expert Help services are there to offer health information and support. They do not diagnose or prescribe, and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice given in the context of an individual consultation.

 

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!