Having good balance is important for people with low bone density who are at an increased risk of falls and fractures (bone breaks). Good balance is dependent on several systems, including the musculoskeletal system, the visual system and the vestibular (or inner ear) system. The muscles and tendons in your body can sense how your feet are placed on the ground, and how your head is positioned compared to the rest of our body. Your eyes provide you with information about your location and surroundings. The vestibular system tells your body how you are moving, and where your head is in relation to the rest of our body. All of this sensory information allows you to safely carry out your daily activities while keeping your body upright.
There are many ways to maintain and improve balance. These include specific balance and strength exercises that address the systems listed above, as well as regular stretching. Having your eyes and ears regularly checked can also be important. Regular stretching of the calf and ankle can improve range of motion and flexibility in the surrounding muscles and tendons (Kim et al., 2018). Performing balance exercises three or more times per week can be a great way to reduce the risk of falls and fractures (de Kam et al, 2009). Certain practices like Yoga and Tai Chi incorporate balance exercises, and can be a great way to maintain or improve balance.