Royce Shook

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Test Your Balance

The following is from Today, published in 2015 but still relevant today

How well can you keep your balance? If the answer is "pretty well," you may just pass this test. Did you know that every year, one in three Americans over 65 takes a spill at one point or another? Though it may seem silly, the medical consequences, in some cases, turn out to be quite severe
Try these three moves to see how well, you can balance.

Test yourself: Stand up straight with your arms crossed. Lift up either leg, starting a timer as you do so, and hold that leg up with your knee bent for as long as you can without touching the other leg or uncrossing your arms. Don't use support.

Stop the timer when the raised leg touches the floor or the other leg, or if you uncross your arms or move your arms out of position.

So, what's the verdict? According to the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, this is how long you should be able to hold the pose for:

If you are in your 60s: 27 seconds

If you are in your 70s: 17.2 seconds

If you are in your 80s: 8.5 seconds

What you need to know:

Couldn't hold it for the recommended amount of time? Don't panic. But be conscious of the fact that decreased balance could be a sign of other medical issues — low blood pressure and vertigo are two factors you should be looking out for.

It's in our 20s that balance starts to decline as a result of decreased vision, sensors on the bottom of our feet and a decline in our vestibular system.

In the meantime, practice standing on one foot while brushing your teeth or walking heel-to-toe with one foot directly in front of the other. Here are some other ideas to help you keep your balance.

On both feet: Stand with feet together, anklebones touching, and arms folded across chest; then close your eyes. Have someone time you: Though it's normal to sway a little, you should be able to stand for 60 seconds without moving your feet. Next, place one foot directly in front of the other and close your eyes. You should be able to stand for at least 38 seconds on both sides.

On one foot: Stand on one foot and bend your other knee, lifting non-supporting foot off floor without letting it touch the standing leg. (Do this in a doorway so you can grab the sides if you start to fall.) Repeat with eyes closed. People age 60 and younger can typically hold the pose for about 29 seconds with their eyes open, 21 seconds with their eyes closed. People age 61 and older: 22 seconds with eyes open, 10 seconds with eyes closed.

On the ball of your foot: Stand on one foot with hands-on-hips, and place the non-supporting foot against the inside knee of the standing leg. Raise heel off the floor and hold the pose—you should be able to do so for 25 seconds.


Test Your Balance

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Thanks for sharing!

Good advice Royce Shook. Thank you for sharing.

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