Have you ever noticed that someone who ‘acts’ old usually has a limited range of motion and tends to have problems with balance? This type of person has to walk with a cane or grab onto a loved one for support just in case they lose their balance. Falling is a big fear for people with balance problems.

 

The truth is that balance plays a big role in your functional age, which is a combination of your physical, mental, emotional, and chronological age. We know now that if you want to stay young, it’s important to make sure that your ability to move is at its maximal capacity. When it is, that’s when you will be perceived by others to have or to be more:

 

  • alert and on top of your mental game
  • confident
  • quicker in your reflexes, which means more intelligent
  • athletic
  • greater strength
  • greater control over your body
  • freer in your movements
  • fit than someone without a good balance

What’s Your Functional Age? You Can Tell with This Balance Test

Researchers have found that your functional age is based on the ability to keep standing when your eyes are closed, and you raise one foot off the ground. How long you can hold this position tells you your age:

 

  • If you can only stay steady for 4 seconds, consider yourself a 70-year-old.
  • If you stay steady for 8 seconds, you’re equal to a 55-year-old.
  • If you lose your balance after 12 seconds, consider yourself a 45-year-old.
  • And if you’re solid and can hold your foot off the ground for 28 seconds, you’re a 25 to

A 30-year-old stud that others look at with comments of “Wow! Your balance is great!”

Where Balance Comes From

What makes you wobbly in your walk is your body’s ability to perceive where your joints are in space. This is what your vestibular system’s function is, and the actual ability to perceive 3D scenarios is done by your joint proprioceptors.

Physical therapists, chiropractors, and neurologists know that balance starts in your core muscles. Get those muscles strong and you will have better balance ability. But once you let your core muscles get flabby and you can count on injuries to your low back, back pain, walking with missteps, decreased spinal mobility, and falls.

 

Good balance ability also relates to self-confidence. Someone who knows that their walk is wobbly will move with caution. After a period of time (in extreme scenarios), the person will start to stay home more often, going out less often – even for basic necessities, and could eventually become a shut-in. The sad part about this is that because the body is made for movement, the person starts ‘dying’. It’s a steady decline unless the person’s balance has been restored.

 

Balance Programs Cropping Up in Health Clinics

Some health professionals have created specialty programs that improve balance and stability and target the elderly as a way to reduce the risk of falling. Since estimates report that every second of the day, an older adult falls. It’s never too early to begin doing balance exercises.

Without a complete individualized program, health professionals will recommend exercises that can improve balance, such as:

 

  1. Walk the line.

This exercise works well in the kitchen if you have a tiled floor. Choose a straight line along the edge of the kitchen floor tiles that are about 4-6 feet long. Then place one foot in front of the other to walk the line, as if you were walking a tightrope. At the end of the line, turn around and walk back to the original starting position. Walk the line an additional four times.

 

  1. Tai chi

Join a tai chi group in your community. Tai chi is composed of a myriad of exercises that will improve your balance and mobility.

 

  1. Marching Behind a Chair

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Rest your hand on the back of a chair for balance. Then lift one knee as if you are marching. Keep your body straight; don’t twist or lean into the chair. Hold your knee up for one second, as if you are marching, and then return your foot to its original position. Then switch to the other leg and repeat the motion. Perform 10 leg lifts in marching position per foot.

 

It’s actually possible to purchase a wobble board, balance pod, or balance disc that can be used to improve your body’s sense of balance quite quickly. For example, a wobble board is usually round or square board that is a little over a foot wide. The board sits on top of a strong rounded disc that allows the board to move in different directions. When you stand on the wobble board, your body is required to move in ways to maintain its balance.

You could efficiently work on your sense of balance while you sit at your desk at work. Sitting at this unique chair called the Acharya chair by Active Seat allows your body to work comfortably while developing a better sense of balance.

 

In a normal chair, your body remains locked in a position that makes it prone to develop poor circulation and blood clots. In fact, sitting on the usual desk chairs has now been linked to the sitting disease, which increases your predilection for all chronic degenerative diseases.

 

Sitting on the Acharya, your legs and core muscles are engaged while working at your desk (without interfering with your work). Ergonomic back support allows you to have support and comfort. The chair also allows you to tilt as if you were balancing yourself on a balancing ball. This is where the improvement in proprioception comes from as a result of sitting in this type of chair.

A great sense of balance becomes second nature, and your body’s functional age is enhanced. It’s the most efficient way to stay more youthful as you work.

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