Active Seniors recently held Balance Workshops across Sydney and the Central Coast. We would like to thank everyone that came along. We will be sharing videos over the next month reminding you all of the exercises that you learnt on the day. If you would like to watch a video of the whole workshop again please click here
The three most important areas that contribute to our ability to balance are our eyes, our ears and our body receptors which are also known as proprioceptors. Eyes, like many parts of the body, are controlled by muscles. These muscles can become tight and stiff, just like ones in the neck, back or legs. Like those bigger muscles, they can be stretched to make them work better and have a positive impact on your balance. The way to stretch them is quite simple, just watch this video.
Ankle and Foot Exercises
There is a direct correlation with how stiff your ankles are and how likely you are to fall. Simply put, the stiffer your ankles, the more likely you are to fall. This occurs for two reasons. Firstly your ankles have to be able to move while you are walking on unstable ground. If you walk over a crack in the footpath and your ankle is locked, then it will cause you to tilt to side and possibly fall. The second reason is that the ankles are constantly giving feedback to the brain about how you are moving and what muscles to switch on, like your hip or thigh muscles. The more your ankle moves, the more information it gives.
The joints are constantly giving information to the brain about where they are positioned and how they are moving. The more the joints are moved, the more stimulation to the brain and the better your balance is. The key joints are your feet and ankles, your hips, spine and neck. They should be moved gently and comfortably through the full range of their movement every day.
Spinal Mobility Exercises
Our spine has more balance receptors in it than any other part of the body. Like the ankles, the better it moves the better your balance. Having good mobility in your spine is also is very important for improving the way you move and conditions including osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.