Recent Blog Articles

Balance Archive


Safe, joyful movement for people of all weights

Published March 15, 2023

A new study finds that many people with obesity avoid exercising because they fear their weight makes injury more likely. But everyone, at every weight, can find ways to exercise safely, confidently, and joyfully.

Reviewing your wellness portfolio

Published January 1, 2023

As with a financial portfolio, older adults should routinely review their wellness portfolio to ensure their health investments meet their short-and long-term goals. Working with their doctor, personal trainer, and nutritionist, they can identify areas that require changes and implement new strategies. Older men often don’t make investments in strength training, balance, and their mental health, but should.

Americans’ use of prescription sleep medications drops dramatically

Published December 1, 2022

A 2022 study found a 31% reduction in Americans’ use of prescription sleep aids from 2013 to 2018. The drop-off was even sharper among people 80 and older, who were 86% less likely to use FDA-approved sleep drugs by the end of the study period.

How can I tell if I have a concussion?

Published December 1, 2022

Concussions occur when the brain bumps or twists inside the skull after a blow to the head. Signs of concussion include headache, eye pain or fatigue, neck pain or stiffness, imbalance, impaired depth perception, difficulty remembering, or sleep pattern changes.

Don’t be the fall guy

Published December 1, 2022

Every second, someone age 65 or older suffers a fall, making it the No. 1 cause of injury-related death among this age group. The best way for older adults to protect themselves is to address the three main physical conditions that contribute to falls: weak stabilizer muscles, poor core strength, and balance issues. They can do this by improving their side-to-side motion through specific exercises and playing racquet sports, doing abdominal exercises, and practicing tai chi.

Punch up your fitness

Published September 1, 2022

Non-contact boxing has been shown to help many people with Parkinson’s disease improve their balance, hand-eye coordination, mental focus, muscle strength, and body rhythm. Older adults also can benefit from this type of exercise, as they face many of the same physical and mental challenges as they age. Most boxing fitness workouts are done using punching bags and hitting oversized boxing mitts worn by coaches. The moves involve punches and sequences based on crosses, hooks, uppercuts, and jabs.

Better balance may mean a longer life

Published September 1, 2022

Being unable to stand on one leg for 10 seconds in middle and later life is associated with a sharply increased risk of premature death, according to a study published online June 21, 2022, by the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Do you fall down when you stand up?

Published September 1, 2022

People with orthostatic hypotension experience a drop in blood pressure when they stand, which increases the risk for falls. Ways to manage the condition include keeping up blood volume by taking in at least 3 liters of fluid and 4 to 6 grams of salt per day; taking medication to alleviate lightheadedness; avoiding hot environments; getting up slowly from a sitting or standing position; and sleeping with the bed on a slant. Someone who feels lightheaded upon standing should sit down immediately. If that’s not possible, it may help to tense the muscles.

Are you headed for a fall?

Published September 1, 2022

Cardiovascular conditions can increase a person’s risk of falling. Such falls are usually related to a lack of blood flow to the brain that causes a person to faint. The most common cause is orthostatic hypotension, but severe aortic stenosis and the heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation can also cause a person to faint. Other falls may result from cerebral microvascular disease, a type of blood vessel damage in the brain that develops over time.

Ready, set, hike!

Published June 1, 2022

Hiking continues to be one of the safest activities people can enjoy during COVID because it is done outside and away from confined group settings. The outdoor adventure also is one of the best exercises for both body and mind, as it can improve lower-body strength and endurance, increase balancing skills that can protect against falls, lower levels of stress and anxiety, and reduce the risk of depression.

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