Keeping your balance means avoiding falls and the injuries that come with them. When you feel your steadiness decline, it may be time to practice ways of improving your balance. Doing so could spare you from fractures, sprains, dislocations, and other injuries that happen when you fall and become more likely with age.
Elation Physical Therapy proudly offers balance training and other physical therapy services to not only rehabilitate injuries but to prevent them from happening in the first place. Our offices in Cypress, Houston, Pearland, and Katy, Texas, are equipped to train you to recover your balance and avoid preventable falls. Our skilled team of physical therapists and support staff can assist you with helpful exercises and tips to keep you upright and moving forward.
Whether you have a diagnosed balance disorder or have recently noticed a decline in your balance, it’s a great time to implement practices that keep you on your feet. Here are five things you can do to practice better balance:
1. Get moving
This may seem counterintuitive if your main objective is avoiding falls, but movement and exercise are essential for maintaining excellent balance. Practicing exercises like walking, cycling, and running can strengthen your lower body and decrease your chances of falling. Muscle weakness and joint instability are major reasons for poor balance, so strengthening the muscle groups that help you stand and walk is an excellent way to improve your balance.
If you’re concerned about falls during exercise, consider options like a recumbent bike or a stair stepper with handles that offer a little more stability.
2. Walk heel-to-toe
Standing with the heel of one foot touching the toe of the other isn’t a sturdy stance, which is precisely why walking heel-to-toe is a challenge that can help you improve your balance over time.
You can start slowly with only a few steps as you adjust to walking this way. Simply practice walking heel-to-toe for about 20 steps per day. You can perform the exercise beside a wall for support if you need extra stability.
3. Shift from foot to foot
Have a moment to stand still? It’s a great chance to work on your balance by shifting your weight from one foot to the other. Simply stand with your feet hip-width apart and lean slowly to one side until a single foot supports most of your weight. Try and practice this exercise until you can stand on one foot for 30 seconds before shifting over to the other foot for 30 seconds. Repeat as many times as you’d like.
4. Be consistent
No matter which exercises suit your preference, consistency is critical if you want to see any lasting improvement in your balance. Find some time to practice exercises like shifting your weight or heel-to-toe walking three to six times per week to maximize your efforts.
5. Acquire an assistive device
Using an assistive device like a cane or walker doesn’t have to be permanent, but doing so can keep you confidently mobile and at a lower risk of injuries. Our team at Elation Physical Therapy can provide helpful tips for choosing an assistive device according to the severity of your balance issues and the reasons why you have them in the first place.
By attending physical therapy or simply practicing regular balance exercises at home independently, you may be able to ease out of using your assistive device. You can keep it on hand should you need it in the future.
For more information on balance disorders and what to do when your balance falters, call Elation Physical Therapy or schedule an appointment online today.