Balancing Act: Your Body in Motion: April 28, 2011

For most of us, our lives are a balancing act as we try to juggle work, the family, activities, eating, and sleeping. But when was the last time you actually took a moment and thought about your physical balance? If you are in your 30s, 40s, or 50s, now might be the perfect time. "I think what happens at that age as well is we get really career oriented, and perhaps family oriented. We no longer participate in the activities we used to participate in- in college, extracurricular activities, sports," says Lee Memorial Health System physical therapist, Nathalie Grondin.

To make sure younger people are retaining their balance skills, Grondin uses this machine at The Balance Clinic. "We can test how far you can transfer your body weight, shift your body weight in 8 different directions. By doing that, we would have an idea: let's say you have trouble going to the left. Every time you go to the left, you are more at risk of losing your balance, then we would focus on weight shifting to the left."

She adds that preserving your balance early can ward off potential falls later. "Some people will sense that they are losing their balance but the timeliness of their reaction is not good enough. So they get to the point of no return and that's why they fall. That way we can explain, 'well, there's possibly a problem with the nerves in their leg and their brain. We can't say exactly where it is, but we can say theres'a a problem with the automatic reactions."

She also encourages everyone of all ages to incorporate exercises into their daily life to fine tune their balance.