Save Your Life – Improve Your Balance

Could a balance ball save your life? Improving your balance and strengthening your core muscles prevent falls that otherwise might kill you.  Taking steps to improve your balance may just save your life.

Exercises with a large balance ball reduce your risk of falling.

Exercises with a large balance ball will improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling. Remember, it could save your life. (photo by Virginia Allain)

You hear the story frequently enough, “elderly woman falls, breaks her hip and before long she dies.” Well, it isn’t just women that a fall can kill. My father tripped on the back step at his house while carrying in groceries. He was 85 and taking blood thinners for his heart. As he lay on the concrete, bleeding freely from his forehead, he realized that he could bleed to death right there.

Fortunately he was able to pull himself up and get into the house to staunch the bleeding. That fall didn’t kill him, thank goodness. Another fellow that we knew fell from a ladder while he was changing a lightbulb. The fall onto a tile floor killed him. Would balance exercises have saved his life? Sure couldn’t hurt.

My mother had several falls in her home during her last few years. The doctor had earlier recommended physical therapy to improve her balance. Mom never took the time to go for it. Finally at age 87, she fell and broke her hip. Following the hip replacement surgery, she had a heart attack then a blood clot and another heart attack. Two months of suffering resulted from that fall and it ended in her death.

So, now I’m attending a balance class twice a week. The instructor has us workout with exercises that seem related to yoga and ballet. Then we work with a balance ball. Already, I can see my balance improving. I think I’ll get one like Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball Kit so I can practice at home. It just might save my life.

Here's one of the students in the class preparing to work with the balance ball.

Here’s one of the students in the class preparing to work with the balance ball. (photo by Virginia Allain)

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