Can you stand on one leg? How long can you hold that position for?
Believe it or not your ability (or inability) to stand on one leg is an indicator of your overall health and wellbeing. Research found that the inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds or more is linked to a doubling in risk of death.
Test yourself and see how long you can stand on one leg, try it with your eyes open and then your eyes closed. Take a look at the guide below to see how long you should be aim to hold your balance for:
If you tried the test and found you couldn’t hold your balance for the time in the targets above then don’t panic- you can improve your balance (and lifespan) with practice. Activities such as yoga and pilates etc are a great way to improve your balance but even simply standing on one leg while doing everyday activities such as brushing your teeth will help improve your balance. The NHS has a great set of simple and gentle exercises you can do in the comfort of your home. If you aim to do these a few times a week alongside your regular activities you'll soon see an improvement in your balance and ability to stand on one leg.
Resistance and Strength Training
Strength training is another great way to improve your balance - a strong body is much more able to support itself, reducing the risk of falls in older age. Strength training sessions done 2 to 3 times a week will yield the greatest results and can be done at home with small weights or even tins of beans! Attending a class that incorporates strength training and aerobic exercise is a fantastic way to get fit and healthy while improving balance and strength.
Looking after your body as you age, by keeping fit and healthy, will help ensure you can stay active and independent for as long as possible- reducing the risk of falls, improving cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of dementia.
If you are starting any exercise programme for the first time always speak to a medical professional first.
Contact Amanda for more information on any of the fitness classes at Smart Fitt or for one-to-one and personal training enquiries.