Having trouble with your vision or focusing? It may be due to your vestibular system, or sense of balance. Improving your sense of balance through exercise or training your brain can be beneficial to keeping your mind sharp and your vision clear! This can help you avoid falls which can result in far more damage.
One Leg At a Time (Beginner):
While you may be moving your body, this exercise is actually helping to train your brain! Balance comes from how you perceive information and can come through what you see or the sensation beneath your feet. The lower body is important when working to improve your balance. Begin by standing with both legs on the ground. Have a bar, chair, or wall near you for support. Slowly lift one foot to the calf of the opposite leg and hold it for about 10 seconds. Repeat this a few times and switch legs. As you become more comfortable, you can try holding it for longer intervals or closing your eyes. It is all about challenging yourself, but slowly and when you are ready for it.
Take a Walk or Bike Ride (Intermediate):
It may come as a surprise, but walking is a great way to improve balance and get regular exercise. If you want added practice, walking heel to toe in a straight line, similar to a sobriety test, helps to improve balance. If you take daily walks, try adding the heel to toe method sporadically for added balance exercise. If you become comfortable walking forward, try the exercise while walking backward.
Yoga or Tai Chi (Advanced):
While there are many skill levels and moves for all activity levels, the basis of these exercises is concentrated movements to improve balance and flexibility. If you are working to continue to improve your balance and have practiced basic movement exercises, you may want to progress to yoga or tai chi. These movement-based exercises will strengthen your core and lower body, giving you the basis you need for a strong sense of balance.
The important part is improving your body strength and vision for better balance. Small exercises every day work to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent serious injury. Your brain needs as much exercise as your body, so utilizing activities that promote healing and development in both is essential and could potentially add years on to your life by preventing “the fall” and the complications that come with it.
At Plasticity Brain Centers, we know that brains can improve at any stage of life. We work to diagnose or assess your balance, memory, and vision to create a customized plan to optimize and advance the power of your brain. Learn more at plasticitybraincenters.com.