Balance: Stay Vertical – Resist the Hidden Danger of Falling
Even in your 30s and 40s, specific exercises can help prevent a big danger that can be a part of aging.
You know it when you feel it
If you find yourself needing to sit down to take off your shoes, it might be time to start paying attention to your sense of balance.
People don’t usually think about balance until they fall or trip or know someone they never thought would. There are signs that cannot be ignored such as holding onto hand rails to go up and down the stairs, wavering as you step into a pair of pants, missing the lip on a curb. These situations can be an early warning sign that your stability is starting to decline.
Once recognized, it is important not to dismiss the signs because loss of balance is usually treatable, but will often get worse if ignored. A formal assessment can indicate balance issues, but does help predict the chances of becoming “one with the floor”.
We’ll send you the results of your test. If there’s room for improvement, we’ll give recommendations!
Hidden dangers if we ignore our balance
We lose the equivalent of seven pounds of our muscle strength each decade from early adulthood on, if no action is taken.
- By age 60 we have lost 30%
- By age 70 we have lost 45%
- By age 80 we have lost 60%
The research into falls, fall risk and fall prevention is extensive because falls are the leading cause of injuries in adults over age 65 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every 17 seconds, someone in this age group is treated in an emergency room for a fall. Every 30 minutes, someone will die from their injury. Two-thirds of those who fall will do so again within six months without intervention.
Weak muscles, which support joints, and weak bones, are compromised. After six months following a fall, only 15% of people are able to walk across the room unaided. Assisted devices become a new companion and relocation to an assisted living community becomes the new reality.
What couldn’t you do today that you were able to do a year ago?
A friend in her fifties recently told me when she went fishing a year ago and she was fearless when walking across a log laid over a stream in the woods. This year, she instinctively knew she would fall into the stream if she tried to cross on that same log; her balance had deteriorated that much in just a year’s time.
Muscle groups and other causes of imbalance
- Poor postural muscles
- Tight hip flexors when sitting too long affects gait
- Tight hamstrings which can lead to back pain
- Decreased sensation in legs and feet
- Vision impairment
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Various neurological conditions
What Do the Experts Say?
Specific recommendations are done after a formal evaluation is performed. Only functional, evidence-based tests are used such as the Functional Fitness Test, Berg Balance Scale, Fullerton Advanced Balance Scale, Dynamic Gait Index, Timed Up and Go Test, Tinetti Balance Test and more. Clients are tested with and without footwear, and with and without assisted devices, when appropriate. The recommendations from 2010 guidelines still hold those specific programs for treatment. They must include multi-positional balance, gait and strength training, such as tai chi, physical therapy or personal training with a certified professional.
Careful interpretation of evaluation results can provide a meaningful basis for developing a fitness plan that meets an individual’s short and long-term goals for functional mobility. With the right toolbox, clients can learn how to target and re-train certain muscles, transfer weight, improve motor control, balance, coordination, synchronization of muscle groups and neuromotor control.
Kind Words from our Clients
Your fitness program has really helped my mom!! I saw her this week and she is stronger and her balance has really improved. She got up from her chair so much easier!!!
Best news, she's very happy that she started working out and she adores Sam and Rita.She actually looks forward to it.
It's great to have a job that makes a difference in people’s lives. What a blessing you have been to all of us. Thank you so so much for all you do.
Best wishes to you for a beautiful new year.
Rene Russo, Actor
Rene Russo, Actor
– Barb Weitzberg
As a Personal Trainer, I appreciate that you trust my skills and give me the freedom to create the best personalized training programs for our clients. Since you too are an excellent Personal Trainer, and stay up-to-date with current trends and fitness education, we're able to collaborate to determine the best approach for our clients. It's a great working team! Thank you for the opportunity to work with you.
Cameron Edward Benton
- Cameron Edward Benton
Sam Strain – Trainer
Customer care is of the utmost concern to her. She is very knowledgeable about personal training and the workings of the functional human body from a bio-mechanical point of view. She is compassionate about all her clients as they all get her personal touch.
I would feel most comfortable recommending her to anyone that is in need of her services.
Samuel Strain II NASM/CES
- Kimberly, Personal Assistant
After my mom’s strokes, we knew we needed to help her become active and improve her balance. She didn’t have a good habit of any exercise and none of the local senior classes were appropriate for her.
I’m so glad we called Lori Michiel Fitness. Lori came to the house, met with my mom, listened to her needs, took a careful medical history and matched her with Daniel. Daniel is a wonderful trainer who comes to the house three times a week to help support mom’s recovery. Daniel really understands senior fitness. He gives the whole family peace of mind that we are doing what we can to prevent another fall and keep mom active. Lori checks in with us regularly to make sure the therapy continues to be appropriate for mom. We’re very grateful to her.
- Rebecca, San Marino
My mom is doing very well. She’s getting back into her ceramics studio and making more stuff and seeing her friends.
- Julia Nelson, CA Licensed Professional Fiduciary
- Charles Savinar
Jill M. Brink
- Debbi, Trainer with Lori Michiel Fitness
- Sheri L.
- Sheri L.
Thank you so much for your patience, persistence and passion in serving clients like my mother. You and Kim are amazing.
Lori's principles of dynamic stretching revolutionized the way I approach stretching. I've seen a great increase in flexibility and have even built additional strength using her techniques.
- Elena, Teacher
My struggle area right now, Lori!
You are such a blessing and like your sign in the video in the background, I do 'give thanks' for you and your dedication to all of us who are trying to do the best we can with our bodies...no matter where we are and at what stage of health we are in!
Love your heart to serve, my friend!
- Deb M.
Steven A. Vasilev
- Steven A. Vasilev MD MBA FACOG FACS FACN ABIHM ABOIM
- Susan M.
Blessings, Fabiola, Personal Trainer
Lori and her team provide personal training for my elderly mother who has Alzheimer's and dementia, as part of her overall care. They customized a program addressing her needs, including balance and mobility. She really likes her two trainers and looks forward to her sessions. I highly recommend Lori Michiel Fitness!
- Judi G.
- Judi G.
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Laurence Z. Rubenstein: Falls in Older People: epidemiology, risk factors, and strategies for prevention. Age and Ageing: 2006
Kenneth C. Howayeck D.P.M: BONE Health Made Easy (2006)
Zecevic AA et al. (2006). Defining a fall and reasons for falling: Comparisons among the views of seniors, health care providers, and the research literature. The Gerontologist, 46:367-376.
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Prudham D, Evans J (1981). Factors associated with falls in the elderly: a community study. Age and Ageing, 10:141-146. 4. Campbell AJ et al. (1981). Falls in old age
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Pew Research Center
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Avin KG, Hanke TA, Kirk‐Sanchez N et al. Management of falls in community‐dwelling older adults: Clinical Guidance Statement from the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy of the American Physical Therapy Association. Physical Therapy 2015; 95:815–834.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Falls assessment and prevention of falls in older persons. NICE Clinical Guideline 161, Available Access April 1, 2015 http://www.nice.org.uk/CG161