Mobility and Balance: The Importance of Exercise

Balance is something almost everyone neglects until it becomes a problem to their health. 

older woman doing a balance exercise

As we get older, our strength begins to fade, and our balance starts to weaken. In fact, every 1 in 3 people ages 65 or older suffers a hard fall due to lack of balance and mobility. So, how can we improve this?

The easiest way to improve one’s mobility is to exercise as well as physical activity. However, it is key to know the difference between the two. Physical activity are acts that are in everyday life such as running, walking, or even taking the stairs rather than an elevator. Regular exercise is aerobic activity such as yoga, weightlifting, or swimming. 

Strength training can come in a variety of forms. The reason many of us strength train is to gain muscle mass, but strength training also helps prevent the loss of bone mass, which results in the improvement of balance.

We improve our balance by strengthening every muscle group.  What main muscles are important to focus on? Balancing exercises and strength training with the goal of improving balance typically focus on the muscles of your core, legs, glutes, back, and even your arms.  When it comes to balance training, you do not necessarily need to do any high impact/high intensity exercises such as jumping or running. It usually involves slow, systematic movements. What does that mean exactly?

Yoga is a great example that demonstrates the effectiveness of balance as well as strength training. Even though yoga requires only body weight, you are still strengthening the muscles targeted in each pose that you perform which results in flexibility, mobility, and balance over time. 

Seniors doing yoga

Exercises such as planks or Romanian Deadlifts are a quick and simple exercise that can be performed which will improve one’s balance while engaging more muscles throughout the body than you would think.

senior couple exercising at home, doing planks

So  many of our daily activities require good balance, and balance is important to maintaining mobility.  Strength training helps increase bone density and improves muscle mass, and exercises that improve our balance help prevent falls and injuries as we age. 

If your balance isn’t what it used to be, perhaps we can help! We can show you exercises that can help you improve your balance, increase your mobility, and keep you feeling younger longer! Working with a certified Personal Trainer can ensure you are doing them correctly, and they will create an entire workout routine for you. Stop by our Personal Training desk for more information or call us at (860) 799.6880.

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