This time of year is absolutely beautiful with the crisp temperatures, the fall leaves changing color and pumpkin everything everywhere! There are tons of outdoor activities such as fall festivals, corn mazes, hayrides, haunted houses, picking pumpkins and more.
It’s a great time of year to get outside and be more active too. Enjoying time hiking, getting out to all the fall farms and spending time around the firepit as you enjoy some hot apple cider is always a favorite in my house.
It is also important to think about how to prevent falls and how to improve your body so that you won’t be at risk to fall. No one wants to have a fall ruin the start to the holiday season and end up in a cast or worse in a surgery.
Balance is something that changes over time based on what we are doing in our life, different injuries, surgeries and more. It is crucial that you stay on top of your balance and always be working on it during your workouts at every age.
Most people think about balance in the elderly as a problem and something to focus on at that stage of life. BUT balance is important for all ages and starting early will help allow you to keep your balance in tip top shape for when you do get to more challenging ages.
Think about how important balance is for all the sports…biking, snowboarding, skiing, hiking, soccer, surfing, roller blading, running, ice hockey…and the list continues. Every sport and activity require a different level or component of balance.
So, what helps our body balance?
We have three systems that help our body balance, coordinate movements, prevent falls on slippery leaves, wet roads, ice, snow and more!
The Three Systems
We use our eyes to balance and give our body feedback of where we are in space
We have tiny crystals in our inner ears that move and give our brain information about where our head is in space
There are small receptors that you may not even be aware of in our muscles and joints, such as our feet, ankles, knees and more that give our brain information about our feet hitting the ground
All these systems work together to help our body balance and stay on our feet each day.
So if you want to challenge each system, let me give you some ideas! BUT, before you start these balance challenges…
MAKE sure that you have something close by to grab with your hands if you lose your balance!
Ok on to the fun part…
Challenging this system is easy in the sense of you only have to close your eyes to make it harder or alter the visual input
Challenging this system will require turning your head from side to side or up and down
Working this system requires you to stand on uneven ground
All these systems can be challenged separately OR together. The options are endless and balance programs are a lot of fun to put together.
If are feeling overwhelmed by all the options and trying to figure out how to put a program together, don’t stress and call us to set up a FREE Breakthrough visit to talk more about what you want to work on in your exercise routine! We have experienced therapists that love to use their creativity to put together the best programs for your body and what you need to challenge yourself.
Now another part of falls is making sure your house is safe to prevent slipping and falling around your home. There are many simple fixes that you can put into place today to make your house safe for all ages (and don’t forget the furry friends too)!
All these simple fixes can make a world of difference to improve your safety at your house.
Another change you can make is to establish a regular exercise program to keep your body moving and prevent losing your balance. In addition to all the balance challenges we talked about earlier, I urge you to do some cardiovascular exercise at least 3-4 times per week. Here are some ideas:
Walking Outside, Even at a Slow Pace
Riding a bike – outside or stationary
Swimming – laps in the water
Yoga class – stretching all your muscles and works on balance
Pilates class – strengthening and lengthening your muscles AND balance
There are so many more cardiovascular activities to help support your body and balance. Make sure to pick something, put yourself on a program and stick to it. If you need help putting together any of these balance programs, give us a call to schedule a FREE Breakthrough visit to talk about how we can help! Don’t forget to help your body so that you don’t FALL into Fall!