In 2010, 13 million Americans reported being injured in a fall, often caused by simple trips on the sidewalk or on the stairs at home. For the over 65s, the figures are worse: One in three in this age group falls every year, resulting in some 250,000 hip fractures and more than 25,000 deaths, usually from traumatic brain injuries. The health care cost of treating these falls is estimated to be $34 billion a year.
But if falling is such a common hazard, especially for older people, does that mean falls are inevitable? Is there nothing we can do about it — like improving our sense of balance?
Of course you can improve your balance! What is interesting is how to train for balance. As this recent NY Times article revealed, studies have shown that unpredictability and cognitive challenges increase the number of synapses of neurons in the body, allowing one to react faster, and thus, keep their balance on an unsteady surface.
Here at Pongo Power, balance training is an essential part of our exercise programs for many clients, both young and old. As trainers our job is to create safe, yet unstable environments and unpredictable exercises to keep you on your toes, literally.