Four Reasons to Prioritize Balance as You Age

Posted on January 25, 2017 · Posted in Grand Oaks

We’ve heard it before—life is about balance. Whether it’s regarding your physical and mental health, personal life, or dietary habits, maintaining stability is always something we work towards. However, maintaining balance can be, well, a balancing act. It sounds simple, but we are often tipped one way or the other by work, relationships, and life in general. Our attention is often diverted to one problem or another, and we inevitably set balance aside. But as we age, maintaining stability becomes increasingly important. Here are four reasons why we should make balance a priority as seniors.

Balance Decreases Your Risk of Falling – Falling is a principal concern for many people over the age of 65. An unintentional fall that occurs in several seconds could result in months of recovery and physical therapy. Adding some balancing exercises to your daily routine can improve overall physical balance, and in turn decrease your risk of falling due to circumstances in which you feel unstable. Practice holding onto a sturdy object such as a dresser or a desk and lifting one knee towards your chest at a time. Try and raise each leg for 1-5 seconds before lowering it back down, 8 repetitions per leg. This is a safe balancing exercise you can practice in the comfort of your suite or in the Grand Oaks fitness and wellness center.

Balance can Improve Mental Health – As we age, we tend to be set in our ways. We often practice the activities we excel at, instead of working at those we find difficulty with. In reality, the best stimulants for brain health are the activities that challenge us. Our Activities Directors provide residents with a variety of activities and events every day of the week. Check your Grand Oaks calendar for an activity centered on a skill you may wish to work on, such as writing, crafting, card games, etc.

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Balance Decreases Personal Stress – We’ve all experienced the imbalance that stress causes in our lives. Whether it’s from work, relationships, or situations that arise unexpectedly, stress can unnerve even the most stoic people, and can ultimately manifest as health problems, causing conditions like high blood pressure and stomach ulcers. By balancing stressful circumstances with times of relaxation, we can avoid being stretched too thinly in one direction. Spend time each day doing something you love, which can be anything from reading a good book in the Grand Oaks library or going for a long walk around the community.

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Balance Encourages Good Dietary Habits – When we’re exhausted or busy, a balanced diet is often not at the top of our to-do list. However, the sooner you make it a priority, the sooner eating a variety of foods will feel like a habit, rather than a chore. The foods we eat affect us more and more as we age, so it’s important to make healthy choices as often as possible. Keep this in mind the next time you order food in the dining room—for example, only order dessert once or twice a week, and choose veggies or a salad on the side as often as possible.