New Year’s Challenge: Boost Your Balance

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

Avoid future falls with improved balance. Today’s equipment-free sequence may make a big difference in your everyday balance.

Keep up with the Strong Body, Strong Mind, Strong You Challenge here and on our Facebook page.

Welcome to Week 3! We hope you’re noticing some improvements in your stamina and energy levels by now. We want to start the week talking about improving your balance.

As we age, it’s common for balance to be affected by:

  • Age-related changes in vision and hearing
  • New medications that may have side effects like dizziness
  • Foot pain or improper footwear
  • Changes to one’s walking stride (for example, moving in a halted way) because of a fear of falling

If you are concerned about your balance, there’s good reason to be. Fall-related injuries are one of the leading causes of disability for older adults. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control says that roughly 3 million adults over age 65 visit the emergency department every year due to falls — and those are only the ones who seek immediate attention. The actual number is likely much higher, the CDC reports.

The good news is that balance problems can be addressed with regular exercise, especially the kind that focuses on balance in a meaningful way. Feeling more comfortable with balance and being stronger overall are essential for fall prevention, the National Institute on Aging reports. Also, the increased muscle mass and higher bone density that comes from exercise could make a fall less severe if it does happen.

Get and stay fit with SilverSneakers! Choose from dozens of different Community classesvisit a participating fitness location, or join one of 20+ SilverSneakers LIVE online classesCheck your eligibility here. 

How to Use the Balance Exercises to Boost Your Stability

For today’s activity, SilverSneakers trainer Shannon Thigpen provides an easy-to-follow sequence that can get you in the habit of working on your balance, no equipment required. That means you can practice these simple moves anywhere, anytime to keep you steadier on your feet.

All you need are comfortable shoes and open floor space. Have a sturdy chair nearby for support, if needed.

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As always, safety is key. Get your doctor’s OK before beginning a new exercise program. If you have a chronic condition (including osteoporosis), balance issues, or injuries, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.

Love this and want more? Take a SilverSneakers EnerChi Class!

In this beginner-friendly workout, you’ll perform modified tai chi movements in a slow, flowing sequence to progress balance and focus. It’s offered both in-person at participating fitness locations and online with SilverSneakers LIVE.

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SilverSneakers members can go to thousands of gyms and fitness locations across the nation, plus take SilverSneakers LIVE online classes that are designed for seniors of all levels. If you have a Medicare plan, it may include SilverSneakers—at no additional cost. Check your eligibility instantly here.

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