Balance on one foot? WHAT?? - Breakaway Physical Therapy
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Balance on one foot? WHAT??

Balance

A patient recently asked me how it was possible for her to improve her balance as she was in her mid 50’s. She thought that she wouldn’t be able to make any progress or changes because she was honestly considering herself as too old☹

First off, you are never too old to improve your balance and make things better. Our bodies forever can learn new things and improve upon our skills, not matter what our age says. This is great news for everyone and all you will need is some practice!

Second thing is that our body relies on many systems to balance. We use our eyes (visual system), our inner ears (proprioceptive system) and our feet (somatosensory system). All of these systems work together and can be improved upon separately and together.

So how do you start to work on your balance?? Well you need a safe space with something to hold onto in case you loose your balance in front of you. Or get a friend or family member to help be your spotter and stand behind you to help you regain your balance.


Here are some things you can practice and try to see what level you are at in terms of your balance:

  • Stand with your feet together, eyes open and cross your arms across your chest
  • Stand with your feet together, eyes closed and cross your arms across your chest
  • Stand with one foot in front of the other (heel-toe stance) and balance
    • Then switch to the other foot in the front and balance

  • Try standing on one leg, then switch to the other

Here are some ways to make these things harder when you are ready:

  • Close your eyes (we are taking away one of our balance systems- vision)
  • Turn your head from side to side while you are balancing (challenging your proprioceptive system)
  • Turn your head up and down while you are balancing (challenging your proprioceptive system)
  • Stand on a pillow, piece of foam or unstable surface (challenging your somatosensory system)
  • Try some things in sitting on a swiss ball

Practicing your balance can easily be incorporated into daily life such as when you are brushing your teeth or standing at the sink washing dishes. It also can be something that you dedicate 5 minutes per day to work on so that you can improve your balance.

Why would I want to improve my balance?

Well our body relies on our balance for walking on grass, gravel, ice, snow and more. It also helps us while we are walking on rugs to hardwood floor to carpet and more. It’s what helps us make it out o bed and to the bathroom without falling in the mornings. All the fun activities that we want to do such as riding a bike, running, hiking, climbing, playing tennis and more require us to have balance!

Start improving your balance today to make sure that it doesn’t hold you back from enjoying your life. And if you want help on setting up a personal balance program, give us a call at 410-721-6333 to get that started for you! Keep your feet on the ground and have fun😊


Shaina Clemons

Shaina Clemons

Shaina is the founder and owner of Breakaway Physical Therapy.  She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Maryland Baltimore, along with a Bachelor's degree from Towson University.   Shaina is an Ironman triathlete, with a love of all sports. Exercise is her passion, which plays an important role in both her personal and professional life.  In her free time, Shaina enjoys spending time with her husband and three young children.  Shaina's love of snowboarding led her to her career choice many years ago. 
Shaina Clemons

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