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Build Better Balance With Practice

How good is your balance?

The answer is important for all of us as we age, but especially critical if you have osteoporosis.

I’m going to share some important information about how targeted exercise can help you improve your balance to reduce the risk of falls. I’ll also share news about an exciting online workshop that I’ve created to help you develop a strong balance practice at home.

But first, let’s examine some important statistics. In the United States, people over age 65 account for 75 percent of all deaths caused by falls, though they represent just 13 percent of the population. Moreover, 40 percent of people over age 65 fall at least once a year. Additionally, between 2000 and 2016, the death rate from falls among those over age 75 more than doubled.

And it’s not just seniors who are at risk of falling from poor balance. Researchers in Brazil found that middle-aged people who can’t balance on one leg are twice as likely to die early. That’s right. Scientists assessed 2,000 people aged 50 to 75 and found that those who couldn’t stand on one leg for at least 10 seconds were 84 percent more likely to die within the next decade than those who could complete the so-called flamingo test. That’s scary.

But then when we overlay this information with osteoporosis, the alarm bells really sound loudly. Falls are the leading cause of fractures. In the U.S. one in 3 women will have a fracture related to a fall each year. And low bone density due to osteoporosis is a main reason that falls easily result in fracture. If you fall once, your chance of falling again doubles.

Although those statistics are cause for concern, simply being afraid of those risks can cause you to restrict your activities, which leads to further frailty and more falls. In other words, fear of falling becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So, what should you do? Be proactive. Exercise.