Balance Training Helps To Age Gracefully

Balance training is becoming increasingly important to aging adults. Regular physical activity, including balance training and balance exercise, is associated with a decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and is important in the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus, colon and breast cancer, and osteoporosis. However, even after disease presentation, participation in regular physical activity and balance training continues to play an important role in the management of the disease, well into the retirement years. Older adults are a group that is particularly vulnerable to chronic disease and disability especially secondary to balance problems and to falls. Physical activity and balance training maintains or increases quality of life by preserving independence.

Balance Training and Physical Activity –A Fountain of Youth

Balance training is vital for all older adults. There is no age limit to the benefits of physical activity; it can slow and reverse age-related loss of strength, endurance, and flexibility. Further, participation in regular physical activity through the middle-age years and into retirement may delay biological aging by 10 to 12 years. Aging has been described as a normal and gradual physiologic process of structural and functional loss, with a decline noted in middle and late adulthood. Predetermined changes that occur with aging include decreasing lung capacity, balance problems, decreased flexibility, and sensorial acuity, as well as a general slowing of movement and loss of muscle tone. Physiological functions deteriorate, but decline is not considered a disease. Certain problems that once were considered inevitable in aging are, in reality, related to disuse; disuse actually exacerbates the naturally occurring changes. It is known that regular physical activity, including balance training and balance exercise, increases independence and physiologic reserve, helps prevent falls and associated injuries, prevents cognitive decline, manages chronic disease and pain, and improves mental outlook, particularly in depression.

Balance Training Decreases the Number of Falls

Not performing balance exercises and balance training on a daily basis can lead to falls. Falls and fall-related injuries are common in this age group and are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Hip fractures, the most common consequence of a fall, often lead to the loss of independence. Those who fall and are unable to get up run the risk of developing pneumonia, dehydration, pressure sores, and rhabdomyolysis.Although there are many reasons why older adults fall, one common reason is the lack of muscle strength in the lower limbs due to loss of muscle mass as well as balance problems. Beginning in middle age and into the eighth decade, back, arm, and leg muscle strength decreases by 60%. Muscle endurance also decreases, leading to rapid fatigue. There is evidence to suggest that muscle strength can be improved with resistance and strength training, and the improvements are manifest well into the tenth decade. This improved strength may also assist the individual to get back on his or her feet sooner once a less serious fall has occurred. Balance training and balance exercises are also key to improving balance and reducing falls.

Balance Training Lessens the Risk of Falling

To learn which balance exercises to do, get the Exercise For Balance DVD. In the Exercise For Balance DVD a licensed physical therapist will teach you how to balance, balance training and which balance exercises to perform on a daily basis. To order a DVD click on BUY NOW or see

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