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Poor Balance is Not Normal in Older Adults!

I'm here to tell you that there's nothing normal and nothing natural about having poor balance or falls as you get older. There's nothing normal, there's nothing natural about a guaranteed level of weakness just because you're 70 or 80 years old. There's nothing normal or natural about saying that pain is automatic as an older adult. Those things are simply false. When older adults are told those things and they are already struggling with balance problems or movement issues, how do you think that makes them feel? Hopeless? 😞

In our youth, we play! When we're younger, our bodies are constantly in motion. We're jumping, we're running, we're tumbling, we're rolling, we're turning quickly, we're at high speeds. We're doing all these things that you see children do. As you get older and older, your 20s and your 30s are probably still involving a lot of movement, a lot of work activity that involves physical motion. Your body during those times is in a high level of practice. 🏃‍♂️💨🤸‍♀️

But essentially what I'm trying to say to you is that when our bodies are younger, our activity level keeps us in shape. It keeps our balance systems calibrated correctly so that we don't lose our balance and fall. It keeps our muscles in great shape so that we have the strength and endurance to do what we need to do. As we get older, our activity level is moved more towards the requirements of adulthood, which sometimes aren't that fun. But if you think about how your life has changed over time, your movement patterns have changed drastically. That change is often the reason that people end up having struggles when they get older. 🔄👴🏽🔄

So let's think about the balance system. Let's think about this group of systems in your body that the whole design for that system is to make sure that you don't fall. When you're a young person and you're running and tumbling and rolling and twisting and turning, that balance system is constantly practicing, just like anybody who goes to a soccer practice, a basketball practice, piano lesson, anybody that practices drawing or painting or singing. All of those things keep those particular systems in tiptop shape so they're prepared for anything. 🧠💡🔧

But the balance system, as we get older, is not tested or challenged, and there's not as much practice. We typically walk in a forward pattern, we don't move quickly. There's rarely a need as an older adult to move quickly. We're not turning quickly, we're not rolling, we're not tumbling. So the balance system naturally calibrates at a much lower level. When that system does not practice high-level responses and activities on a regular basis, it's not prepared for when a high-level response is needed. 🚶‍♂️🔄🧘‍♀️

So even though as adults we reduce our activity quite a bit, if we're not exercising a lot and we're not walking at high speeds or running or jumping and things like that as we did in our younger years, there are still circumstances where that high-level balance is required and it's not available to you as it was when you were younger. For instance, if your normal life consists of spending a lot of time sitting, and you're an older adult and you don't go out often and you move slowly, and then all of a sudden you have to go out and step down a curb outside, that's a higher-level balance activity that your system may not be ready for. Or let's say you're walking on grass because you have to get from point A to point B outside. That's a high-level balance activity that your system may not be ready for. 🚶‍♀️🌿🏞

The same happens with weakness. Our strength and our endurance are maintained through that play and that high-level activity as a younger person. Older people have a natural tendency for their muscles to get weaker, but their weakness that affects their daily life and their mobility does not come only because of old age-related changes in the muscle. It comes from reduced activity. So if an older adult has to walk further than their average daily walk, they're going to struggle. If they have to go up and down the stairs more often than they normally would, there's going to be a big struggle. 🏋️‍♀️💪🚶‍♂️

So when people tell you as an older adult that the reason you're struggling is because you're older, 70, 80, 90, it's absolutely false. There's always something. And most people that I see as a licensed physical therapist have problems more associated with the fact that they don't move the way they did as they were younger and their body is not practicing doing things at a high level like they want to. And then people tell you that it's natural and normal and you just have to take it easy. 😡🛑😤

So what are you supposed to do? You're stuck. You're feeling bad with your balance. You may be falling. You may have weakness that is very frustrating. You're afraid to go out with friends and family. And then on top of that, people tell you that, "Well, it's natural and you just have to take it easy." That can only make things worse because you're just going to reduce your activity level even further. 🤷‍♂️🤦‍♀️

My experience guarantees number one, that the reason you're struggling is not always because you're older. Number two, the reason you're struggling can be reversed in many, many cases, and we're going to teach you how to do that on this channel. So if you've made it to the end of this channel, my hope, honestly, is to spread these videos like wildfire to reach anybody who can benefit from it. There's going to be more content so that you understand as an older adult what you can achieve. And there's going to be more content to actually how to do that through strategies and exercise and education on your lifestyle to reverse some of the struggles that you're having. 📈💡🎓



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