In my experience, nobody really talks about balance until they are seniors. You would think at some point a senior would warn the younger generation to work on their balance!! Unfortunately they don't, but I am happy to educate you on the importance of balance.
I have had clients come to me after taking major falls from teens to seniors and the aftermath is never pretty. I have seen concussions, brain injuries, broken ankles that needed to be screwed together, dislocated knees and torn tendons. Falling can do major damage that can not only stick with you for a lifetime but can even be deadly.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year.
Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.
In 2015, the total cost of fall injuries was $50 billion. Medicare and Medicaid shouldered 75% of these costs.
The financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach $67.7 billion by 2020.
One-fourth of all seniors who fracture a hip from a fall will die within six months of the injury.
At the age of 55 the vestibular system begins to lose nerve cells and blood flow to the inner ear begins to decrease. As eyesight declines that can also factor into balance issues. But we all start off with different levels of balance. I have clients in their 20's that have a harder time with balance than I client in his 50's. This is why I think it is important for everyone to work on balance. I really don't think it is ever too early to start. Are you really worried about becoming too good at balancing?!
I filmed this video to give you a few different ideas for adding balance exercises into your routine. There are two done on your hands and knees, two done standing up, and a couple on the BOSU too!
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