With age comes the loss of many bodily features that are often taken for granted by younger persons. Joints and muscles begin to ache, bladders need emptying more often, and balance becomes slightly harder to control. There are things that can be done mentally and physically to maintain balance and avoid harmful falls.
An article published by health.harvard.edu entitled “Good Balance Requires Mental and Physical Fitness”, details the studies conducted to show the correlation of balance enhancing exercise routines and mental exercises to an individual’s sense of balance.
The researchers discovered that Tai chi and qigong, types of exercises that involve moving gently through a series of poses, evoke mental and physical work simultaneously, which aids in the maintenance or regaining of overall balance. The American Tai Chi and Qigong Association has created a search engine to help those interested find classes in their area. It can be found here http://www.americantaichi.net/TaiChiQigongClass.asp .
Additional tips are to perform daily standing balance exercises, which can be performed by standing on one leg while raising the other. It takes a concentration and focus in addition to physical strength to do these types of exercises as well as the ones outlined above, and it is the combination of brain and muscle work that keep balance in check.