What specific exercises should I do to improve my balance?
I’m asked this question all the time by our older adult clients. While there may not be any 1 specific exercise that will help more than others, researchers have found that physical activity leads to better balance overall.
Option 1: Slow and steady
In this study, researchers found that for every hour you spent doing light to moderate physical activity your balance improved by 10%. Light to moderate means you can easily carry on a conversation during the activity. This activity can really be anything from walking with friends, gardening, or water aerobics. Find something you like and have at it. You can rest assured that you’re getting better balance and better health as well.
Option 2: Faster, but shorter duration
Now, there’s another option. This option is great if you don’t have an hour to workout. This next option also speeds up the time to see improvements to your balance. You can still do whatever activity you like, just as long as you keep the intensity in the moderate to vigorous range. This means it’s difficult to carry on a conversation. If you go back to the ‘talk test’, your responses are 2-3 words, not long explanations.
In the same research study (see above), researchers found that for every minute of higher intensity activity your improvements for better balance were 23%. That’s over double the improvements in just a fraction of the time! Again these improvements were based on older adult heart rate intensities-not exercise specific.
So what exercise is best to improve your balance?
According to this one study, ANY exercise you do can be beneficial at improving your balance and reducing your risk of falling. So get out and get moving and get better today!
If you want to learn more ways to improve your balance, check out our FREE ebook, Battling the Balance Bandits!