Would you consider yourself a well-balanced person?
Physically... that is?
It's kind of funny how we watch toddlers wobble as they learn to walk.
And then most of us take a pretty balance approach to life, until we look at some elderly folk... and then the wobbling for some, takes over again.
So what happens to us as we age?
Is it all a matter of strength and flexibility?
Can we take control of this balance challenge so we don't lose it as we grow older?
I learned recently, that our physical balance over the course of our lifespan, is not solely dependent on our fitness level. Now, while we can work to maintain our flexibility, muscle mass, and strength as we age, they may not be the only components that contribute to what keeps us from toppling.
The biggest change happens inside our ears where we have our center of balance, called the vestibular system. That's where we determine the orientation of our body in space. Like are we standing, sitting, right-side-up, or up-side-down, tilting to the left, or on a balance beam. If the vestibular system detects we are off balance, it will signal our brain and we will react as we tilt, to put our arms out to catch us.
But as we age, the cells in this system begin to die off, affecting how accurately we detect our body in space. Which in turn affects the communication to our brain and the signals to our reactions. We may tilt and it may take too long to tell our arms to catch us.
And if we haven't been keeping up with our fitness levels... strength, muscle mass, flexibility... then our tilting will be much harder to catch. And I don't want to be unable to get up at go as I grow older. So I plan to keep working out, staying fit, as long as God's grace allows.
But what we also need to consider is that our vision will most likely continue to diminish, which can affect depth perception. And our blood pressure can have an effect on balance. If it is low like mine, when one stands too quickly, it can cause dizziness or light-headedness. And that, certainly, can lead to a stumble or fall.
But these last things are the type we can certainly keep in check with regular visits to the doctor and upkeep of our health and medical care.
This new revelation about our vestibular system certainly did throw me off balance when I learned about it. But not so much that I am worried. For it is part of God's creation within our human bodies. And with that being so, I can trust Him with it. He can keep me healthy and strong as I take care of this body He gave me.
Let us ever be grateful for the amazing way that God has made us and let us stay balanced as we take care of ourselves. Each day, each of us growing older,
wiser, stronger and more balanced... with #theTrainer.
He knows how strong you really are...