Having balance is a needed skill in life. This skill becomes even more important as one ages. Older adults need good balance to prevent falls and to assist in common everyday movements such as sitting down and standing up. A combination of activities such as walking, coordination, and strength training can improve balance. Walking helps to build lower-body strength. You can improve your balance by taking a simple walk.
Walking is an activity one can take for granted. It is easy for some to stand up and walk. If you ignore this valuable skill, then the ability to do it can decline and walking becomes more of a chore then a joy.
Next time you go for a walk, think about how you are walking. Here are some areas to concentrate on.
- Pattern of walking involving balance and coordination
- Normal gait uses alternating movements of the limbs resulting in forward progression
- Stand up straight
- Keep head up- look at the horizon
- Length of a step forward
- The longer step can be related to long-term mobility
- Muscles that propel the body forward in a rhythm
- How long one can balance on one foot then the other with forward motion
- Goal is to spend more time with weight on one foot instead of two, this can be a sign of better balance
Areas of Concern
- Scoot both feet close to the ground
- Move forward with very short low steps
- One Lead Foot
- One foot is dominate over the other, it takes the step forward
- The other foot drags, limps, or moves up to the neutral position with limited propulsion forward
A walking plan can benefit most people. (Always check with your doctor first). If walking is easy then add time, distance, or hills to the routine. Aim for at least 150 minutes of walking per week. Create the habit of walking daily. Just 30 min of walking per day is 210 minutes of weekly walking. It is not only good for your health, but you can improve your balance by taking a simple walk.