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9/16/16 2:29 PM

Are you looking for a way to further challenge your balance? Check local gyms, churches and senior centers to see what activities are offered. Here are a few ideas to look for in your community to keep you at your best.

  • Tai Chi: What is it? It is a series of slow, rhythmic movements that involves breathing and meditation techniques to strengthen your mind and body. Many movements are in standing and it is low impact for gentle pressure on your joints. Tai Chi is usually offered in a group class. Benefits? Improved muscle strength, improved balance, reduced stress.

  • Yoga: Yoga can be performed in standing, sitting and/or lying down. The beauty of yoga is that you can modify positions and movements to fit your needs and comfort level. Yoga is a flow of postures with a focus on flexibility, balance, strengthening, breathing and meditation.

  • Swimming: Do you have sore joints? Find a pool and get swimming! You can swim laps, participate in an aqua aerobics class or take your standing strengthening and balance exercises and do them in the pool. It’s a great way to stay active with less pressure on your joints. Is there more than one pool at the facility? Ask if the pools have different temperatures to see what pool is right your you.

  • Gym: Join a gym! As strength improves, balance improves! Keep your muscles strong so that they are ready to react to correct balance loss. Weight training (as well as cardio) improves bone density and improves cardiovascular function. Check with the gym and with your insurance company to see if they participate in gym discounts.

  • Wii and Kinect: Have you heard about Wiihab? Therapists are using video games to help improve balance and coordination. The tv (through the video game system) will cue you to participate in a standing or sitting activity. Bowling is crowd favorite! Senior centers may have these system, or check with your family to see who has it at home.




Before beginning any exercise regimen, alway check with your doctor to make sure your choice of exercise is safe for you. If you are at a gym, it is a good idea to take a tour and work with a trainer for a session or two until you are comfortable with all the equipment to prevent injury. If an injury occurs, come see us in Physical Therapy. Our five Onondaga Physical Therapy locations are conveniently located inside of gyms throughout the Syracuse Area. Three of our locations have pools (Liverpool, Onondaga Hill and Cicero)!

Written by Courtney Ryer, PT.

Courtney is currently practicing as a Physical Therapist in our Baldwinsville office.

Topics: tips, fall prevention, balance