Ad Spot

June 22, 2021

Ester Marsh column: Worried about your balance?

Even though we see balance issues more with our older adults, I have seen plenty of children and young adults with problems as well. Exercise can help improve your balance. Remember the phrase “When you don’t use, it you will lose it?” It counts for balance too, no matter how old you are.

If you see a sudden change in your balance, you want to make sure there aren’t any medical issues. Check with your doctor — there is a possibility you could have a balance disorder like vertigo (you might have the feeling that things around you are spinning) or labyrinthitis (an infection or inflammation of the inner ear causing dizziness and loss of balance). And with outdoor pools open and beach trips scheduled, swimmers ear can also affect balance.

Meniere’s disease is a balance disorder. Symptoms can be vertigo, hearing loss that comes and goes, ringing of the ears, a feeling of fullness in the ear, even nausea. After you have made sure you don’t have any disorders and you still have problems with your balance, it could be muscular. Aging corresponds with the loss of muscle mass and a decrease in muscle strength. The loss of muscle strength (especially in the legs and the core) makes maintaining balance difficult. Another issue could be weakening of the bones as a result of osteoporosis, along with decreased mobility in the knees and ankles, that can increase the risk of falling of an elderly person. Studies have shown great success with yoga, tai chi and strength training.

I have had numerous older adults who were falling frequently, and started them on a strength training program and challenged their balance by doing balance exercises, and it almost completely eliminated the falls they were experiencing before.

Another very important aspect is posture. When you have a rounded back and lean forward, just one little trip can have you face down on the floor. So stand nice and tall, shoulders back, down and relaxed and tighten your belly to a point you can still breathe. When your start a strength training program, it will also help to strengthen the bones and it has a huge impact on a person’s mental and emotional health. You won’t believe how quick you will feel better and are getting stronger.

When you start a strength program, don’t just focus on the legs and the core, work the whole body. Believe me, your whole body needs to work out and reap the benefits.

Besides strength training, you can start a yoga class or a class geared towards active older adults. Both will help your balance, and personally I have seen great improvement with the people who have attended our classes. Strength training, yoga, tai chi, good posture or just “plain” balance exercises will be your greatest success to regaining your balance.

Ester Marsh is health and fitness director of the JF Hurley Family YMCA.

About Post Lifestyles

Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalPostLifestyle/ and Twitter @postlifestlyes for more content

email author More by Post

Comments

Local

Local scouts sweep NC American Legion awards

Business

As demand lessens slightly, local homebuilders work through challenges to deliver dwellings

Local

Commissioners name Newberry Hall House county’s newest historic landmark

College

Livingstone College alumna Quanera Hayes makes U.S. Olympic Team after first-place finish in 400-meter race

Crime

Blotter: June 21

Ask Us

Ask Us: What is status of ‘speed table’ on Charles Street in Spencer?

Local

East Rowan High graduate killed in motorcycle crash

Local

Political Notebook: Gov. Cooper vetoes Ford-backed bill allowing firearms at churches that are also schools

Crime

Blotter: June 20

News

Body of fourth tuber, age 7, found in North Carolina river

Nation/World

8 kids in youth van among the 13 lives lost to Claudette

Local

Hundreds turn out for annual Juneteenth celebration on newest federal holiday

Local

Between local champions and an upcoming state tournament, pickleball putting Salisbury on map

Business

Business leaders hope to draw big crowd for job fair at West End Plaza

News

Officers cleared in Mooresville shooting

Business

From firefighter to photographer, Brianna Mitschele is ready to capture more moments in downtown Salisbury

News

25 years later, runners reflect on Olympic torch’s trip through Rowan

News

Commissioners to consider designating Newberry Hall House as county historic landmark

Farm & Garden

51st annual Old Southeast Threshers’ Reunion set for July 1-5

Business

Biz Roundup: St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Foundation awards grants from Salisbury to Jerusalem

Lifestyle

Kristy Woodson Harvey: For Dad

News

South Salisbury Fire Department activates new weather siren

Lifestyle

Library Notes: Meet the ‘Dare Devil Dogs’ in Week 5

Faith

Q&A with Bishop Tim Smith