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Building strength can help seniors improve their balance

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Albany/HV: Building strength can help seniors improve their balance
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A lack of balance is a common cause of falls in senior citizens. According to the Center for Disease Control, those falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries.

"As seniors age, their strength in the body and muscle tone starts to decrease. When they start to lose their balance, they don't have the strength to come back, or the ability to counter that then they are gong to fall," explained Amy Zick, a fitness instructor.

To help build strength and increase balance, she teaches a balance class for seniors. It includes work with a stability ball to increase leg and core strength, and yoga blocks.

"The balance on one leg is very shaky. The more I do it, the better I get," said Jack Meyer, a class participant.

Zick said the class also teaches confidence.

"You're not going to do the things that I do in class, but it does give you the opportunity in a safe environment to feel those moves. So that when you are out and you start to lose your balance, at least you can feel that and counter balance it and hopefully not fall over hurt anything, and continue to live a wonderful life outside of an assisted or nursing facility," said Zick.

Balance can impacted by poor eye sight, cataracts and certain medications that cause dizziness.

"Since I have been doing the balance, I feel as sturdy as a mountain," said Meyer.

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