I often work with people who have issues with their balance. I think in generations past, this was a problem that seemed mostly relegated to people 50 and above (give or take a few years). And so lots of people would say it was an issue with age.
These days, it doesn’t seem that way at all. At least not to me. I’ve seen countless people in their 20s and 30s come in the door with major balance issues. And I’ve had people in their 70s come in with fabulous balance. So I don’t think it has so much to do with age as it does with something one 75-year-old client has taught me.
The older you get, the more you have to do to maintain your body.
And it’s not JUST because you’re getting older. It’s because our lives have also gotten more sedentary. We sit and sit and sit and don’t realize what an effect it has on our bodies. Luckily, we’re starting to wake up to the problem and acknowledge that it is a problem. So you have age, which means you gotta do more to keep your body feeling good, AND you have your lifestyle working against you.
So what’s the way to combat worsening balance? Well, you can’t reverse time (there’s not an app for that yet), but you can do one thing that will help you FEEL younger.
Move! Move your body intelligently and in ways that re-awaken the right muscles the right way. That doesn’t mean you should end your workday by doing a five hundred pound leg press. It means challenging your body gently and effectively constantly.
One quick thing you can do after a long period of sitting is balance on one leg. Just get out of your chair, stand near a wall or desk, then pick up one leg and try to balance for a minute. Switch legs. See what happens. It’s not as easy as it sounds. You may find you can’t even do it for 15 seconds. You’ll also find that it’s going to be MUCH harder at the end of a long period of sitting since the hip stabilizers often get shut down by long periods of sitting. This little exercise throughout the day can help improve your balance and reawaken some of those poor hip muscles that you squash all day long in your office chair. Give it a shot and see what happens! As your body’s balance improves you’ll be surprised at how much younger you start to feel.