The Time to Practice Balance is Now
Balance came a lot easier when we were kids, stepping from stone to stone across a creek, tightrope walking across a log, or leaping one-legged from square to square in a game of hopscotch. And if we fell, at worst, we suffered a scrape or bruise. But as we get older and spend much of our time walking on flat ground and sitting down—and simply as a function of aging—we begin to lose our steadiness. Like strength, balance is one of our use-it-or-lose-it skills, and unfortunately, if we don’t use it by engaging in a regular gym workout or other fitness program for women, we lose it, and we can fall.
The Older We Are, the Harder We Fall
Falls are dangerous at any age but especially post-menopause, when our bones are less brawny. At this stage of life, the cost likely won’t be a bruise or scrape, but rather, a break.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention1, one out of every three adults aged 65 or older falls each year, and one out five of those suffer moderate to severe injuries, including head injuries and broken bones. More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls, mostly falling sideways. Even if you don’t get hurt, falling can make you fearful and tentative about doing the full body workout you need for overall good health and to prevent a tumble from happening again. It’s a vicious cycle that can keep you sidelined from a beneficial workout routine.
The take-home message is this: whether you’re 65 or 35, the time to practice balance is NOW. You can begin today with the 6 Weeks to Better Balance and Posture class from our Health & Wellness series. Several factors affect how steady we are on our feet, including muscle strength and mind-body connection, and the Better Balance class addresses both. It will take you through guided exercises to help you improve your balance with weekly topics and exercises ranging from posture and center of gravity to core strength, proprioception and equilibrium. If you’re nervous about balancing on one leg, don’t worry; each of the poses can be modified to make them easier when you’re just starting out. Plus, you can contact your Curves coach who can provide weight loss motivation and support and help you with every aspect of your whole body workout plan.
The Benefits of Balance
As women, we all know life is a balancing act. As such, your exercise routine should be balanced, too. There’s a time for pushing the leg press, and there’s a time for holding a steady pose. The balance poses require you to focus on and engage your core, so they help you strengthen your abs, hips, and lower back. Balance exercises improve your posture, too. And if these benefits weren’t enough, better balance will improve your overall quality of life, making you fitter for the playground with your kids or grandkids, the hiking trail with adventurous friends, or the dance floor with your favorite partner.