Keep Your Balance at Any Age

Walking with a walkerYou know the old saying: practice makes perfect.

No matter who you are, a lifetime of experience has probably brought you some skill in at least a few areas. Maybe you’re a great card player. Maybe you know how to knit or crochet your own clothes. Maybe you have a few secret family recipes that always wow the family at dinner time.

Balance is a skill, too. And like any other skill, balance requires regular practice in order to remain sharp. Yes, it’s true that you might not be quite as sturdy on your feet at 80 as you were at 30—aging affects us all whether we like it or not—but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless. Regular balance training will help you stay as solid on your feet no matter what year you were born. The flipside is also true: neglecting balance practice and settling into a more sedentary lifestyle may take your independence away much faster than you realize.

The key to everything is taking care of your feet and staying active. It’s hard to get motivated to go for a walk, work in the garden, or enjoy other activities if your feet are hurting and you just want to sit or lie down. Whatever is bothering you, we can help you address those painful issues so that you have a firm, pain-free foundation!

With that in place, a little lower body strengthening and balance training exercise each day can have profoundly positive effects on your ability to retain your balance and prevent stumbles and falls. The great thing is that most of the exercises require no special equipment and you can perform them anywhere.

Simple exercises you can perform every day include standing on one foot, back leg raises, side leg raises, and walking heel to toe. At first, you may need to stand near a table, counter, or other sturdy object you can grab onto in order to provide extra support. As you get better, you can increase the duration and/or the degree of difficulty—for example, hold your support with just one hand, or not at all, or even try balancing on a pillow once you feel really secure.

Whatever you do, we want you to be safe when exercising. If you have a lot of difficulty performing these sorts of exercises, don’t push through—but don’t give up, either! A visit to your general practitioner or physical therapist can make a big difference.

When it comes to providing that solid foundation, trust your feet to Dr. Harvey Danciger in Palm Desert, CA. To schedule an appointment, please give us a call today at 760-568-0108.

Dr. Harvey Danciger
Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle
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