Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

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David Althaus
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Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by David Althaus »

Has anyone used a personal trainer to work on balance issues as they age? 72 and thinking I need to work on balance. Obviously, there are all kinds of sites on internet with suggestions but have always found exercise proper technique is more than half the battle. Can a personal trainer help?

All the best
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Raymond
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Raymond »

A personal trainer can help; however, my question for you, is it really a balance problem (dizziness, vision problems, etc.) or is it more of a strength issue (walking, getting up from a chair or bed, etc.)

Consider this article: "Balance" Training - startingstrength.com

I'd say a trainer who helps you work on building your core strength (squats, leg presses) would be preferable to someone who has you stand on balance boards or rubber balls.
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fposte
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by fposte »

Probably, if you get the right one; I might see about gyms connected with CCRCs either organizationally or just by customer base to maximize the chance of somebody with relevant experience. But are you thinking "personal trainer" because you like the model or because other options hadn't occurred to you? Tai chi is strongly recommended to help seniors with balance, for instance, so a tai chi class might serve the purpose as well or better.

Edit: here is an article from Harvard Health talking about tai chi classes. Much of what it describe is also true of some kinds of yoga, so that's something you could consider as well.
Unicorn1
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Unicorn1 »

I might recommend a physical therapist, or a personal trainer with reputable certifications from ACE, NSCA, or ACSM, and specific programming experience with special populations. In my experience, most personal trainers have no certification or certification from a non-reputable organization.

I would start here to find an ACSM professional near you -> https://certification2.acsm.org/profind ... 1523997371

Enter your City.

In the Certification / Registry Level Pulldown, selecting only one at a time (in priority order), I would select ACSM/NCHPAD Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer, any of the Exercise is Medicine credentials, or ACSM Certified Personal Trainer.

Good luck.
shell921
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by shell921 »

I love tai chi and it is a form of balance training.

I also love Classical Stretch !!! It has increased my flexibility and improved my posture
and made me stronger and it has helped my balance. Takes away/prevents stiffness !
I am 71 and have been doing CS for 10 years.

Miranda's clients range from professional football players to 80 year-old retirees.

I tell EVERYONE about CS. I have about 15 episodes recorded from public broadcasting channel on my DVR and
I use those a lot..but I know by heart so many of the gentle stretches and routines as I have done them so much.
There are also many youtube videos you can watch. You don't have to buy any CD but they are available.

https://www.youtube.com/user/ClassicalStretchTET

http://classicalstretch.com/

strength
flexibility
balance
posture
Those are all improved with CS

"As long as you have muscles and tendons, you will benefit from the Essentrics technique! Essentrics works the entire body—all 650 muscles in one workout: toning and slenderizing, improving posture, increasing flexibility, mobility and range of motion, rebalancing the body, relieving any pain and reducing any existing scar tissue in joints and muscles—all the while promoting a healthy cardiovascular system.".
HomeStretch
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by HomeStretch »

No experience with personal trainers, but there are yoga classes that focus on balance and flexibility for older people. Very effective.
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TexasPE
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by TexasPE »

Unicorn1 wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:38 am I might recommend a physical therapist,.... In my experience, most personal trainers have no certification or certification from a non-reputable organization.
/quote]

+1
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Just sayin...
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Just sayin... »

Sort of. One of the exercises the Personal Trainer I’m working with had me using a Bosu Ball (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/BOSU) in conjunction with various weight balls held, thrown and caught rebounding from a small round trampoline - all in order to strengthen core. Without realizing it, the core strengthening exercises really helped my balance. I’m not certain whether or not this would help you if your balance problems originate in your inner ear though...
Calli114
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Calli114 »

HomeStretch wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:43 am No experience with personal trainers, but there are yoga classes that focus on balance and flexibility for older people. Very effective.

I agree, personally I think strength training would be more bang for the buck with a personal trainer instead of balance exercises.
A couple yoga poses come to mind for balance, and the technique is something the OP can easily Google, such as tree and bird dog poses, hard to mess up.
Also, something simple like standing on one foot for 1-2 minutes daily has benefits as far as decreased fall risk.
Spirit Rider
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Spirit Rider »

Raymond wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:16 am I'd say a trainer who helps you work on building your core strength (squats, leg presses) would be preferable to someone who has you stand on balance boards or rubber balls.
These are not mutually exclusive. Balance training in addition to other core strengthening exercises greatly enhance balance. Balance like any other physical capability benefits from conditioning. Balance training reinforces your core and other muscle groups in ways standard strengthening exercises do not. Strengthening exercises in general are isolated to specific muscle groups. Other training, various sports and activities use multiple muscle group in ways that dedicated exercises do not. I can tell you from personal experience that certain advance balance training was more intense that anything else I has done and turned me into a sweat machine. You are using more muscles in combination to maintain balance than you realize, not just your core.
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lthenderson
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by lthenderson »

This might be taboo to discuss among adults, but my daughters have a WiiU game system and there is a game for it called Wii Fit that comes with a balance board attachment. There is a computerized personal trainer and yes you can work on balance issues. I'm a couple decades younger and thought I had good balance until I tried some of the activities and realized I had much room for improvement.
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by UpperNwGuy »

Just sayin... wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:11 pm Sort of. One of the exercises the Personal Trainer I’m working with had me using a Bosu Ball (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/BOSU) in conjunction with various weight balls held, thrown and caught rebounding from a small round trampoline - all in order to strengthen core. Without realizing it, the core strengthening exercises really helped my balance. I’m not certain whether or not this would help you if your balance problems originate in your inner ear though...
My personal trainer has been putting me through routines similar to what you describe above. Balance is improving along with strength and flexibility. You really can't do one without the other two.
Nowizard
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Nowizard »

I participated in a large study designed to determine the effect of weight training on balance for older folks. My strength was above that of many half my age, but balance issues of a minor nature continued. Strength training was not validated other than for those who were actually comparatively weak. Flexibility was the key takeaway from the study. I think things like Tai Chi and yoga are quite possibly better than strength training.

Tim
CuriousReader
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by CuriousReader »

I think strength training has helped me avoid injury when I do fall. Lots of back story but I tend to trip, and shoulder, arm, hand and wrist strength means I can drop into more of a push-up instead of falling on my face or spraining wrists.
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by alfaspider »

Nowizard wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:25 pm I participated in a large study designed to determine the effect of weight training on balance for older folks. My strength was above that of many half my age, but balance issues of a minor nature continued. Strength training was not validated other than for those who were actually comparatively weak. Flexibility was the key takeaway from the study. I think things like Tai Chi and yoga are quite possibly better than strength training.

Tim
I think where strength training really helps with regard to balance is as people get older and more prone to frailty. A lot of falls occur not because the person has truly lost their balance, but because they don't have the strength to correct a misstep. That sort of thing may not be all that applicable to the generally active and healthy 75 year old, but may be to an 85 year old. I think the idea is that a 75 year old who consistently strength trains will on average be a lot less frail at 85 than someone who does nothing.

But there's no reason to argue one or the other. You can do strength training in tandem with yoga or tai chi.
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by alfaspider »

shell921 wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:39 am
"As long as you have muscles and tendons, you will benefit from the Essentrics technique! Essentrics works the entire body—all 650 muscles in one workout: toning and slenderizing, improving posture, increasing flexibility, mobility and range of motion, rebalancing the body, relieving any pain and reducing any existing scar tissue in joints and muscles—all the while promoting a healthy cardiovascular system.".
Not to directly contradict the program (I'm sure it's fine), but the word "toning" is often predicated around a misunderstanding of how exercise impacts muscles.

Most people who say someone looks "toned" are actually saying that the person's bodyfat is low enough that they can see definition in the muscles, but that their muscle mass isn't so high that they look "buff" or "built." It has little to do with any underlying quality of the muscle itself. In fact, if you already have a reasonable amount of muscle mass, getting "toned" looking is mostly a matter of diet.

If your body wants to get stronger, there are two options: muscle hypertrophy (they get larger), or you recruit a larger percentage of muscle fibers. Hypertrophy is what will make you look "toned" because it will probably help you reduce body fat by increasing your basal metabolic rate. The proven path to hypertrophy is traditional strength training with dumbells/barbells/calisthenics.

Finally, I'd say that most personal trainers are the equivalent of AUM financial advisers. They are expensive and often recommend exercises of questionable value. Like financial advisers, the barrier to entry for the profession is laughably low. Which is not to say there aren't personal trainers that aren't worth every penny, but don't blindly trust someone just because they hold themselves out as a trainer. The real value of a trainer is providing extrinsic motivation for those who have trouble getting themselves to the gym. But you pay a lot of money for that "motivation."
crazygrow
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by crazygrow »

Strength training and yoga! Strength training to help keep/increase muscle mass and yoga to gain more flexibility and balance with those new muscles. This has made a huge difference to me (although I'm "only" 40).
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dm200
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by dm200 »

Not a problem for me, but I wonder if any of the group exercise classes for seniors might help as well?
stoptothink
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by stoptothink »

alfaspider wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:14 pm
shell921 wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:39 am
"As long as you have muscles and tendons, you will benefit from the Essentrics technique! Essentrics works the entire body—all 650 muscles in one workout: toning and slenderizing, improving posture, increasing flexibility, mobility and range of motion, rebalancing the body, relieving any pain and reducing any existing scar tissue in joints and muscles—all the while promoting a healthy cardiovascular system.".
Not to directly contradict the program (I'm sure it's fine), but the word "toning" is often predicated around a misunderstanding of how exercise impacts muscles.

Most people who say someone looks "toned" are actually saying that the person's bodyfat is low enough that they can see definition in the muscles, but that their muscle mass isn't so high that they look "buff" or "built." It has little to do with any underlying quality of the muscle itself. In fact, if you already have a reasonable amount of muscle mass, getting "toned" looking is mostly a matter of diet.

If your body wants to get stronger, there are two options: muscle hypertrophy (they get larger), or you recruit a larger percentage of muscle fibers. Hypertrophy is what will make you look "toned" because it will probably help you reduce body fat by increasing your basal metabolic rate. The proven path to hypertrophy is traditional strength training with dumbells/barbells/calisthenics.

Finally, I'd say that most personal trainers are the equivalent of AUM financial advisers. They are expensive and often recommend exercises of questionable value. Like financial advisers, the barrier to entry for the profession is laughably low. Which is not to say there aren't personal trainers that aren't worth every penny, but don't blindly trust someone just because they hold themselves out as a trainer. The real value of a trainer is providing extrinsic motivation for those who have trouble getting themselves to the gym. But you pay a lot of money for that "motivation."


+1. Every time I hear the word "tone" in reference to exercise or physical conditioning, I want to bang my head against a wall. Ditto regarding the barrier to entry regarding the personal training profession. Go to your local commercial gym and it's more likely than not that not a single "trainer" employed there has related formal education or a moderately respected (CSCS or even NASM-CPT) professional certification. If improving balance and proprioception are the primary goals, you might be better off with some youtube videos.
RetiredAL
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by RetiredAL »

My Dad last year used a trainer, for part of the year, that at a nearby Senior Facility. His walking was declining and he had several falls. This place accepted non-residents if referred.

After 2 hospitalizations this winter and spring, he is now a resident at this Senior Facility, in the Assisted Living section. He now is full time with a walker. He sees the trainer twice a week. I am of the opinion that without the trainer, he'd just sit around, which ultimately would lead to a wheel chair. The trainer works on his balance and strength.
hicabob
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by hicabob »

As others have mentioned the "Bosu ball" is an interesting balance device, simple, reliable, popular and has survived a long time .
After watching other folk use it I just started messing with one at the gym and found I have lots of room for improvement!
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Brianmcg321
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Brianmcg321 »

A lot of balance issues are really strength issues. You should read some articles by Mark Rippetoe about training as you get older. Very enlightening.

I have changed my work outs considerably to include more squats and deadlifts. Something I thought I would have stopped doing as I got older.

https://startingstrength.com/article/st ... ple-my-age
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Pjm7171
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Pjm7171 »

Physical therapist here...

I work with the geriatric population every day and strength training/resistance training is the gold standard for balance IF vestibular(inner ear) is not affected, proprioception (skin sensation is intact - think neuropathy in feet) is not affected and vision is clear.

Still, you should be medically cleared before engaging in any program by a qualified, licensed medical practitioner.

Im a little biased here, but I would consult a physical therapist over a personal trainer first. They can help clear you for more strenuous exercise but monitoring blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate, lung sounds and temperature. Personal trainers don’t have a lot of medical background and this could be a problem for the older clientele. (however, I’ve worked with MANY qualified personal trainers who do great strength work with older clients).

Also, not to be anti bosu ball but I’ve seen more injuries as a cause of the bosu ball than benefits for balance training.

TL;DR YES get someone who will strength train you, whether it be a personal trainer with medical background or a physical therapist. I would make sure that they will progress you and challenge you (most older folks I see at the gym are doing the same routine with the same trainer for the past 6 months). You need to stress the body to adapt.

But, please see your doctor first to be medically cleared.
Last edited by Pjm7171 on Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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dm200
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by dm200 »

If you have "balance" issues, such as Vertigo, I would also check with my Physician about whether there may be medical issues or causes involved. One thing to check is any possible medication side effects or conflicts.
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Katietsu »

You might check with insurance. It could pay for a session or more with a physical or occupational therapist. It is in their best interest that you do not fall. Even if this was just a one time thing, they could direct you to local resources that are best for you. Additionally, in my area, there are a couple of physical therapy facilities that will work with you on a private pay basis with no physician referral to work on concerns such as yours. And our OLLI (Lifelong learning Program) has a weekly class focused on balance in older adults.
grandmacassie
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by grandmacassie »

Look for a class indicating Yoga for the Core at your local yoga studio. It is core strength that helps balance and balance training that helps core strength. And it makes you feel strong and great! I've been taking 2 classes a week for about a year now, and it has made a big difference, even though I regularly go to they gym for exercise.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Sandtrap »

It depends on one's physical issues, etc, etc.
You are age 72.

It's important to get a solid medical evaluation on what's neede for your particular needs. Everyone is different. A healthy nible 30 year old can enjoy going to the "gym" and gain from it. It depends on age, etc. So find what fits "you", not what others do which is irrelevant to your unique needs at age 72.

See your doctor first. Then get his referrals for a good eval. Then a program to keep up for life that you can do on your own (no trainer needed). At age 72, the goal is to maintain quality of life, not bench press 300.
Yoga, weights, certain stretches, etc, may be off limits to you depending on your doc eval. (with good intention, a healthy young trainer will push you to do beyond what you should do. Be careful. Happens often with seniors. More is not better.)

I go to a rehab center 2x/week. Regular PT (physical therapy) eval. is included. Most of the center is for post op. but there are many that are there for P/T, rehab, ongoing fitness, etc. They also have senior fitness, silver fit, Tai Chi, Chi Kung, yoga, etc. My eval says what I can or should not participate in.

(for me, insurance covers all but $26/mo. a great deal).
I also do Tai Chi and Chi Kung morning and evening every day.
(I am familiar with balance issues, proprioceptors degredation as we age, structural maladies, and so forth. Find what you have first.)

Good luck.
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Nowizard
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Nowizard »

Alfaspider: Agreed that all of the areas mentioned should combine and was only meaning that a particular study did not positively support strength-training alone among healthy people who were not involved in the study due to reports of balance difficulty but due to age.

Tim
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Jazzysoon »

I agree with the suggestions of yoga. If you are close to a YMCA they have Many classes geared towards those above 50... And they also have Personal Trainers that specialize in issues facing older population, quality of trainers varies by location. IF you do have a Y and started attending some free fitness classes you could talk to fellow classmates/members about a trainer they might recommend. You will most likely find others in your situation. The Y also has 30min sessions typically ~$30/session, so not horribly expensive.
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by bhsince87 »

Pjm7171 wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:17 pm Physical therapist here...

I work with the geriatric population every day and strength training/resistance training is the gold standard for balance IF vestibular(inner ear) is not affected, proprioception (skin sensation is intact - think neuropathy in feet) is not affected and vision is clear.

Still, you should be medically cleared before engaging in any program by a qualified, licensed medical practitioner.

Im a little biased here, but I would consult a physical therapist over a personal trainer first. They can help clear you for more strenuous exercise but monitoring blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate, lung sounds and temperature. Personal trainers don’t have a lot of medical background and this could be a problem for the older clientele. (however, I’ve worked with MANY qualified personal trainers who do great strength work with older clients).

Also, not to be anti bosu ball but I’ve seen more injuries as a cause of the bosu ball than benefits for balance training.

TL;DR YES get someone who will strength train you, whether it be a personal trainer with medical background or a physical therapist. I would make sure that they will progress you and challenge you (most older folks I see at the gym are doing the same routine with the same trainer for the past 6 months). You need to stress the body to adapt.

But, please see your doctor first to be medically cleared.
Agree 100% ! And I'm not a physical therapist. But I needed one....

I had some balance issues, around age 45, and they were probably inner ear related.

Went to PT and I was "fixed" in a few months. Plus insurance covered it.

The main exercise that helped me was standing on one foot as long as I could, until I got up to 2 minutes per foot. Plus I was supposed to move my focus point ( of gaze) from near to far and back when I was doing that.

I still do it 10 years later.

Also, my therapists told me the ultimate exercise is to try to dress yourself while standing up, every day.

I'm close to doing that, but I still can't tie my shoe laces while standing. But I'm OK with that.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Sandtrap »

bhsince87 wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:45 pm
Pjm7171 wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:17 pm Physical therapist here...

I work with the geriatric population every day and strength training/resistance training is the gold standard for balance IF vestibular(inner ear) is not affected, proprioception (skin sensation is intact - think neuropathy in feet) is not affected and vision is clear.

Still, you should be medically cleared before engaging in any program by a qualified, licensed medical practitioner.

Im a little biased here, but I would consult a physical therapist over a personal trainer first. They can help clear you for more strenuous exercise but monitoring blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate, lung sounds and temperature. Personal trainers don’t have a lot of medical background and this could be a problem for the older clientele. (however, I’ve worked with MANY qualified personal trainers who do great strength work with older clients).

Also, not to be anti bosu ball but I’ve seen more injuries as a cause of the bosu ball than benefits for balance training.

TL;DR YES get someone who will strength train you, whether it be a personal trainer with medical background or a physical therapist. I would make sure that they will progress you and challenge you (most older folks I see at the gym are doing the same routine with the same trainer for the past 6 months). You need to stress the body to adapt.

But, please see your doctor first to be medically cleared.
Agree 100% ! And I'm not a physical therapist. But I needed one....

I had some balance issues, around age 45, and they were probably inner ear related.

Went to PT and I was "fixed" in a few months. Plus insurance covered it.

The main exercise that helped me was standing on one foot as long as I could, until I got up to 2 minutes per foot. Plus I was supposed to move my focus point ( of gaze) from near to far and back when I was doing that.

I still do it 10 years later.

Also, my therapists told me the ultimate exercise is to try to dress yourself while standing up, every day.

I'm close to doing that, but I still can't tie my shoe laces while standing. But I'm OK with that.
+1
Physical therapist.
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dm200
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by dm200 »

Sandtrap wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:19 pm

(for me, insurance covers all but $26/mo. a great deal).
I also do Tai Chi and Chi Kung morning and evening every day.
(I am familiar with balance issues, proprioceptors degredation as we age, structural maladies, and so forth. Find what you have first.)

Good luck.
j.
* Not medical advice or recommendations. See your doctor.
I have no experience or direct knowledge, but I have heard and read about the great benefits of Tai Chi
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Part of my martial arts training included Tai Chi and to this day, my balance is excellent. One part of my black belt test was to stand on one leg for half an hour. Much of the karate training is also based on balance....punch forward while pulling your other hand back to keep your center in place. But any yoga, Tai Chi or other soft, low impact systems will help you greatly. I would expect that they'd be far cheaper than a personal trainer. Some YMCAs offer classes that are included in membership.
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Raymond
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Raymond »

I hope the OP returns to this thread...
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dbr
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by dbr »

I agree and have experience in the family as well that a PT trained in the area is the way to go. Also balance can easily be any of a variety of medical issues that should be screened if only to be eliminated. There are specialist MDs and even clinics that do this. Balance and dizziness problems are much more common than most people believe and balance also becomes an issue with aging.
Finridge
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Finridge »

I think that for people who can afford it, a personal trainer is one of the best investments they can make. And note that I'm calling it an "investment."

The "do it yourself" approach does not work for most. Most people who buy gym memberships don't use them regularly or at all after the first few weeks or months. Many people who buy home gym equipment don't use it more than a handful of times.

The social pressure provided by a personal trainer keeps you accountable and motivated.
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Fallible »

OP, you are right to address your imbalance as it can lead to serious falls. But please first take the advice of posters here like Raymond and Sandtrap and get a medical checkup with a doctor to determine the cause of your balance problems. A good PT would also need a doctor's diagnosis on which to base effective therapy and safely address the problem.
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dbr
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by dbr »

Fallible wrote: Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:36 pm OP, you are right to address your imbalance as it can lead to serious falls. But please first take the advice of posters here like Raymond and Sandtrap and get a medical checkup with a doctor to determine the cause of your balance problems. A good PT would also need a doctor's diagnosis on which to base effective therapy and safely address the problem.
Agree. This is not a department for a personal trainer to deal with issues. The right specialists can systematically evaluate all the possible issues and provide treatment/regimens to improve health. I have walked through this with a family member myself.

This sort of information may be helpful: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/balance-disorders
Last edited by dbr on Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dm200
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by dm200 »

No personal experience with a "personal Trainer", but I often see them working with clients at my public gym.

I also know a few folks who have gotten into the personal training "business". Again, no personal knowledge or experience, but I really question whether these folks even come close to having a clue about such issues. In my opinion, some of these young guys and gals are just "sales folks" charming their way into getting clients. On the other hand, I also believe that there are some who actually do have good credentials. The "$64 Question" is how you tell the difference?

Maybe, just as suggested earlier, stick with a Physical Therapist!
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Sandtrap
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Sandtrap »

dm200 wrote: Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:50 pm No personal experience with a "personal Trainer", but I often see them working with clients at my public gym.

I also know a few folks who have gotten into the personal training "business". Again, no personal knowledge or experience, but I really question whether these folks even come close to having a clue about such issues. In my opinion, some of these young guys and gals are just "sales folks" charming their way into getting clients. On the other hand, I also believe that there are some who actually do have good credentials. The "$64 Question" is how you tell the difference?

Maybe, just as suggested earlier, stick with a Physical Therapist!
There is indeed a distinction between a "Personal Trainer" and a "Physical Therapist".
1
A personal trainer at the gym is likely young and very fit. He/she will develop a program to make you stronger and fitter.
There is no education or certification required to be a "personal trainer". One might even have started as a gym employee. Though some might have various "certificates", etc. A Personal Trainer has "clients" not "patients". a Personal Trainer is a fitness professional.
2
A Physical Therapist has an undergrad degree and also 3+ years of education and training in Physical Therapy. Typically, the start work with a Physical Therapy center working under the guidelines of Medical Professionals. There is a high degree of professional liability. "Patients" come to a Physical Therapist for "post op" rehab, trauma and injury recovery of range of motion, and assumption of daily life activities, and so forth. The Physical Therapist is a medical professional.

*Disclaimer
Of course, these lines are blurred. One can be the other and vs vs. Everyone has had different experiences with both and things have worked out well. Many of us, myself included, have had bad experiences with either, where we have hurt or strained ourselves from wrong/bad guidance. And, vs vs.
For a 30 year old with no physical disabilities and healthy enough to run a mile, benchpress and deadlift and ab crunch to physical envy, and loves to be pushed to even greater heights, either a Personal Trainer or Physical Therapist will likely "do no harm".
But, for a senior, or someone with unknown or potential physical compromises, a medical path is the safest.

This is not similar to the difference between a chiropractor and an orthopedic M.D. (out of topic).

*Disclaimer
Not medical advise. Based on personal experience. Actionable suggestion only. (see you doctor first, get a really good PT eval. Diagnostics as needed.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Sandtrap »

Nowizard wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:25 pm I participated in a large study designed to determine the effect of weight training on balance for older folks. My strength was above that of many half my age, but balance issues of a minor nature continued. Strength training was not validated other than for those who were actually comparatively weak. Flexibility was the key takeaway from the study. I think things like Tai Chi and yoga are quite possibly better than strength training.

Tim
+1
Save the knees (knee replacement), the hips (hip replacement), the spine (spine replacement? :shock: )

Also, Chi Kung. :shock:
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by stoptothink »

Finridge wrote: Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:56 pm I think that for people who can afford it, a personal trainer is one of the best investments they can make. And note that I'm calling it an "investment."

The "do it yourself" approach does not work for most. Most people who buy gym memberships don't use them regularly or at all after the first few weeks or months. Many people who buy home gym equipment don't use it more than a handful of times.

The social pressure provided by a personal trainer keeps you accountable and motivated.
While the bolded statement is true, I'd love to see some data on the percentage of those who use personal trainer's who actually reach their goals compared to those who do it themselves. I'd bet they are pretty comparable. I'm an actual professional in this area; well, I have a BS in kinesiology, MS in exercise phys and a related PhD, and the field's most respected professional certification(CSCS), but I've never worked as a "personal trainer" or at a commercial gym in any context.
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by dm200 »

I have heard (have no idea if true or not) that some personal trainers have some basic training and experience in guiding a client with the exercises as "prescribed" by a medical professional. I am quite sure, though, that many "personal trainers" have little or no such actual health/medical related training or qualifications. I believe (correct me if I am wrong) that anyone can just call themselves a "Personal Trainer" and sign up "clients". From what I see at the gym, many "older" guys commonly are clients of young and attractive "personal trainers".
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Utahdogowner »

David Althaus wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:57 am Has anyone used a personal trainer to work on balance issues as they age? 72 and thinking I need to work on balance. Obviously, there are all kinds of sites on internet with suggestions but have always found exercise proper technique is more than half the battle. Can a personal trainer help?

All the best
Not that I'm giving medical advice, but tai chi would be my first look. I know our local senior center has free weekly classes...
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by reisner »

Take Tai Chi.
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by reisner »

But there are is a wide range of expertise out there. Shop around, by trial classes.
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by rj342 »

Retired academic colleague of mine was big on real bicycle -- NOT stationary -- for easy work on balance and some subtle working of your core, as well as obvious legs, glutes and cardio. Of course you need to be in decent enough shape you're not likely to fall over.
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by AMG79 »

Personal Trainer here... undergrad in Exercise Science, several reputable certifications and 19 years experience working in unity with my client's physical therapists and physicians. A safe, knowledgeable personal trainer can be an excellent option after receiving a doctor's clearance. Regardless of what you decide, I would suggest definitely taking action since you have balance concerns. Best of luck!
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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by Sandtrap »

reisner wrote: Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:55 pm But there are is a wide range of expertise out there. Shop around, by trial classes.
+1
Expertise ranges from classes taught by "certified instructors" who earned their certificate in "one weekend seminar, including tapes and books" vs others who spent years/decades learning properly.

Research/Google: "Senior Tai Chi Certification", "Senior Fitness Certification", and other variants. (Earn money part time, Start your own franchise or join ours, etc) You'd be surprised at what comes up.

FYI:
As for "Tai Chi" and "Chi Kung", there are countless variations and "qualities" that developed (or devolved) as the "Art" made its way from East to the West. In the West, the variant most seen is sort of like Yoga in the park, which is nice and focuses on fitness, exercise, etc. More traditional variants will seague with Asia's Taoistic (non religious) and meditative roots.

Also, the pace and techniques will vary. For example: the Tai Chi Yang 24 Form takes 6 minutes to do in China, but some schools in the West have it out to a slothly 15-20 minutes to complete. The Yang 104 Form to "1 hour"!!! Why? Just individual teacher adjustments along the way, along with technical variations, etc. So, sit in on a number of them and find the instructor and variant that appeals to you. There are mostly 4 main sub styles. Yang (most popular), Sun, Wu, Chen, etc. It's all good. Doesn't matter as long as you go regularly and forever, and do it within your own physical aptitude and enjoyment.

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Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Post by spitty »

Lots of one foot standing, bouncing and twisting is great for balance..try it with eyes closed, it's pretty tough! Also try some easy, body weight squats on one leg. I can't get near a full pistol squat but try to get a little "feel" without bothering the knees. I've used an Indo board for at least ten years and do it 2-3x/week to stay familiar. Nothing more than side-to-side (on concrete) with some easy squats. Worth searching Youtube to see how amazing some people are at this gizmo! There is a learning curve. https://www.indoboard.com/rocker-board- ... -mahogany/

I bet Amazon prices are much cheaper.
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