Falls are the leading cause of hospitalization among Americans over the age of 65, and while trips and slips account for a portion of these falls, an underlying balance issue is oftentimes at the heart of a devastating fall. If you’ve noticed that your balance just isn’t what it used to be, or you have a parent or grandparent who has noticeable balance or mobility issues, don’t ignore the issue. Helping patients with balance issues is something we do daily at OrthoRehab Specialists, but if you’re looking to gradually improve your balance from the comfort of your home, we can help with that process as well. In today’s blog, we share some ways you can work to improve your balance from home.
Improving Your Balance From Home
If you believe that you may have a balance or mobility issue, we suggest that you connect with a physical therapist for an assessment and so that an individualized care plan can be created. Some of the tips we share below can lead to falls if you are not able to perform the exercise or use the equipment in a safe manner, so know that a balance assessment and treatment plan is best developed with the help of a professional. With that in mind, here are some ways you can work on your balance from your home, while you’re at the office or whenever you have a few minutes of free time.
- The Bosu Ball – The Bosu ball looks like part of an exercise ball that has been cut and fitted to a board so that the base lays flat on the ground. This allows the user to place the ball on the ground and step on it. As soon as you step up onto the ball, the muscles in your lower body will be hard at work helping you maintain your balance. You can do some balance-specific exercises or you can incorporate a normal exercise on the Bosu ball for extra muscle conditioning. Here are some exercises you can perform on the Bosu ball to improve your balance.
- Balance Board – The balance board works to strengthen the same muscles as the Bosu ball, but it has an inverse design. With a balance board, the round part is on the ground, and you stand on the above flat surface. Getting the board to balance off the ground won’t be easy at first, but once you get the hang of it, your lower body muscles will be in for a workout. Skiers, snowboarders and surfboarders oftentimes use a balance board to train when they can’t get out in the elements.
- Yoga Balance Mat – If you prefer your equipment to be completely flat, consider a yoga balance mat. These mats have a little cushion to them, meaning your foot will have to work harder to provide support and balance to your body. These are a safer option for patients with more movement restrictions, but you can also use the mat during a yoga session or normal workout routine for an added challenge.
- One-Legged Exercises – If you don’t want to add any more exercise equipment to your house, consider doing some one-legged exercises to improve your balance. You can perform these exercises near a table or kitchen counter in case you need to grab onto something for support, but you can balance, bend or perform some simple movements while standing on one leg, and you’ll find that the muscles and ligaments that aid in your balance are getting a great workout!
- Physical Therapist Guidance – Finally, as we mentioned in the introduction, if you’re really serious about improving your balance or developing a safe mobility and balance program, connect with a physical therapy clinic in your area. We develop balance programs for high-level athletes and older adults who want to maintain their independence and stay out of an assisted living home. Whatever you’re looking for, we’re confident that we can develop an individualized balanced training routine that helps you achieve your goals.
For more information on how you can improve your balance, or for help with a different physical issue, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.