In the United States, falls related injuries are a major public health concern for individuals over 65 as well as those living with chronic conditions such as heart disease.
Moving For Better Balance is a 12-week evidence-based group exercise program developed by researchers at the Oregon Research Institute. The program, based on the principles of Tai Chi, is led by a qualified instructor and teaches eight movements modified especially for falls prevention.
The program works to improve balance, muscle strength, flexibility and mobility to enhance overall physical health, which leads to better functioning in daily activities. Participation in the program may also result in better mental health, reduced stress, improved memory and cognition, and increased self-esteem.
In addition to the program's physical benefits, the safe, supportive group setting provides an opportunity for participants to enjoy learning with like-minded adults and find relief from the isolation that can sometimes come from living with limited mobility.
If you or someone you know would benefit from Moving For Better Balance, ask your local Y staff if they offer the program or have other options for improving your mobility.