There have been some interesting articles in June about Balance & longevity, following the release of a 12 year study examining the relationship between balance and mortality. The research did not establish a cause, and other variables were not included in the research , but its findings were quite significant.
An inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds in mid to later life is linked to a near doubling in the risk of death from any cause within the next 10 years.
This is quite a scary thought. But balance is one thing we can improve with practice , and it can easily be incorporated into our day to day lives.
Ageing leads to a decline in physical fitness , muscle strength and flexibility. Balance only tends to decline in our 50s, and can do so quite quickly.
Standing on one leg requires good balance, linked to brain function, muscle strength and blood flow. This is another reason why doing some strength training as we age is so key to our longevity.
There are many ways you can improve your balance at home :
Standing on one leg whilst you brush your teeth , or waiting for the kettle to boil.
Stepping up onto a step with one knee raised and holding it.
Hold something heavyish in one hand ( such as a bag of shopping) and lift a leg off the floor and hold it.
Stand with arms to the side of the body, palms face forwards , raise a knee off the ground and then close your eyes and see how long you can hold it.
Practising yoga poses such as Tree Pose ( option to have a coffee as well !)
Walking barefoot will also improve the function of the feet, and improve balance.
Incorporate as many ways as you can to improve your balance on a daily basis and your health will thank you for it.