Tutorial #2114

Balance Facts

10 min - Tutorial


In this tutorial Kevin Bowen shares what he has learned during his exploration on balance. He tells us facts and statistics that relate balance to falls, especially in older adults, and how one fall can lead to a fear of movement. He also urges us to focus more on our physical and mental balance, to keep our brains functional and our bodies healthy.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video


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Hello, my name is Kevin Bowen and today I'd like to talk to you about balance. Uh, I became very interested in balance when I was asked to teach a workshop in balance and since balance is one of the principles of [inaudible], I wanted to do a little research and exploration about it. Um, so I found out some interesting facts that I don't think everybody knows or maybe they do, but they just don't quite realize. Older adults, one in three usually end up falling from lack of balance, the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. For an older adult, and I'm talking someone who's 60, 65 and older is a fall, 20 to 30% of the falls suffered, usually have some form of moderate to severe injury that occurs from falling, from lack of balance in an older adult. Most fractures that occur are caused by falls.

Men are more likely than women to actually die from a fall, believe it or not. And the rates of fall fracture on women significantly increase over the age of 65 two times more than men's rate sub fracture. 95% of hip fractures in older adults are caused by a fall. And it's 75 a woman who falls, it's four to five times more likely to be admitted to a hospital than a man or a woman who falls at 65 and the fact that I found the most interesting because it actually affects me personally, is what a fall does for you or does to you, I should say, in your psyche, in your mental wellbeing, once you fall, you start to develop a fear of falling. And that leads to a lack of mobility and exercise and movement because you, me, all of us become more fearful about moving and falling.

So I thought to myself, hmm, balance. I know I'm balanced. I have to be balanced. I teach [inaudible]. I do pull out these on a regular basis. So I stood up by myself one day and tested my balance. And what I found out was, is I was hardly balanced at all.

Just by the simple fact of standing up. There were some great things that we can do to test our balance. Um, simple, easy balance tests that anybody can do in the privacy of your own home, standing up on two feet and holding it. Depending upon your age for account of 10 20 or 30 seconds, you can stand on two feet without losing your balance for 10 seconds. When you're over 65 or 70, that's good, but in my opinion, that's not good enough.

If you can stand on one foot for a period of 10 seconds when you're over 65 that's deemed to be excellent, but I still don't think that's good enough either. A, if you could stand with one foot in front of the other one for a period of 10 20 or 30 seconds, depending on your age, without swaying and rocking and throwing your body off, that two is supposed to be good. What I discovered was having had about five injuries on the right side of my body from a broken second metatarsal on my right foot to a torn vest, this ladder Allis to two torn hamstring muscles on the right. And a couple of other things. I realized how off my balance was. I also realized what was happening to me inside my head was I was resigning myself to the fact that I'm 55 years old.

These things happen with age. This is what goes on. And I was resigning myself to limit my range of motion and limit my mobility. And I didn't mean to do it, but it happened. And then I caught myself and I thought, this is simply not acceptable. I'm not going to allow this type of thing to happen to me.

And I really didn't want to allow it to happen to anyone that I've worked with or my clients or anyone else. So I'm on a balance kick now. And I think that balance is extraordinarily important. Uh, it overlaps so many parts of our life that we don't realize just the ability to get down and up off the floor very simply. Even in a way like this is something that's very important. A lot of people don't have that mobility. They fall, they get down, they can't get back up and it's a problem. I discovered that when I stood on one leg on my right leg on my weak side, I really had a very difficult time doing it.

I even further discovered that if I tried to raise up c on my right foot, that my right foot was so weak from the foot injuries that I've had, not only that broken metatarsal, but a very severe sprain many years ago when I was young. So I started working on my balance and my ability to stand up tall and erect and my ability to actually move well and be able to bend over and stand up. So I urge you and your friends and everyone else to focus on your balance. There's an aspect about balance that also is very important because it kind of overlaps and overlays Palase and that really has to do with not only our physical balance but our mental balance and our wellbeing. And this is a big issue. Keeping a clear head, realizing where we have to be balanced between what we do for work, what we do at home, what we do in play is all very important.

Once all of those things get out of balance, we start to lose our own internal balance that is going to further allow us to be balanced as we move. Uh, I just recently heard a Harvard neuroscience professor talking about how the brain works and how things happen in the body, which was a fascinating conversation with brain body communication. But, uh, he was asked by Terry Gross, this was on NPR. If there's one thing that you could do as a person to assist your brain and functioning and assist you with longevity for the rest of your life, what would it be? Would it be these new, you know, brain games that are out? Would it be some neuroscience? Would it be Lumosity? Everyone's heard of these things and his answer was the, the one thing you can do is keeping your body fit and staying active.

Exercise is the most important thing you can do to keep your brain functioning and your body healthy. So remember that. Thank you.


2 people like this.
Interesting statistics. Thanks for sharing your own personal discovery.. Will you be doing some tutorials or classes on basic balance exercises? I think Amy did some balance work with a moon box within a ladder barrel class.
Kevin Bowen
Hello Hydie - I won't be filming any new classes for awhile...sorry.
1 person likes this.
Well done Kevin. This is an issue that needs to have more focus. Thank you too for noting now pilates helps us to keep balanced in many ways. And pilates can be done standing, which will really challenge your balance.
South Beach Pilates
I teach a Sr. class and this is great stuff! Enjoyed it!
1 person likes this.
Thanks for this, Kevin. I work balance with my clients often --due to a host of reasons. The stats and the way you framed the conversation offer me further talking points - that I will of course attribute to you!
2 people like this.
Great information, thank you for reminding us all that we need balance in all aspects of living!

1 person likes this.
Thank you Kevin. I enjoy your style of teaching and sharing of information. Please keep up the good work! Thanks!
1 person likes this.
Thank you!!! Obrigada!!! You are awesome and you look great!! Love your classes!!
2 people like this.
Great teaser to your next one, right? The one that focuses on the balance pieces in a typical mat session? Oh it's gonna be a good one....love sequels! Thankyou
2 people like this.
Kevin, Thank you for highlighting this very important topic. If anyone reading this is looking for ways to include balance training, try some of the standing leg work in class #1481 by Sheri Betz. It's great stuff. I include these with my mat class students every week and they have improved by leaps and bounds. They were slow to convince in the beginning - they wanted to go back to lying on the mat. I gave them some stats, similar to Kevins, and convinced them to stick with it for a while. They used to hate it, now they love it and many of them no longer use the poles to assist.
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