When I began to measure balance in my life, it led me to the idea of a mid-life career change. I thought a lot about what it means to be a baby boomer. Those musings led to wanting to learn more about the aging process. Early in my geriatric care management coursework I learned how important balance is to the goal of aging well. I read about an exercise program called A Matter of Balance that can help reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of older adults who have concerns about falling.
As an aging baby boomer the idea of this program excited me. An ounce of (fall) prevention is…you know the rest. However, before I could teach others, I needed to practice what I wanted to preach.
I needed help to re-balance my body as well as my life. Yoga did it for me; tai chi works for others. It’s a win-win. Fix your body and your mind and spirit come along for the ride. My yoga instructor leads me through a series of body poses twice a week. I do the rest on my own.
As we age we lose our sense of balance that can lead to a fall. If you fall once, odds are that you’ll fall again within six months. A fall can result in broken bones, a trip to the hospital, rehab or even worse. Ask yourself how steady you are. If you are wobbling, take steps to bring yourself back to center.
Start simply: balance on one foot (nearby wall, chair or steady friend recommended!). To stay in balance requires core strength, concentration and patience. Balance doesn’t come easily, It takes time, focus, and and resolve. Slowly but surely you will feel stronger and more steady.
P.S. Yes, this is a metaphor for life. Balance, my friend, it is the core.