New Year resolution by Dr Michael Mosley...Improve your balance!


Along with aerobic exercise (running, walking, swimming) and muscle-building resistance exercise (press-ups and squats), it is important to keep a good sense of balance. In a study that began in 1999, more than 2,700 middle-aged men and women were tested to see how long they could stand on one leg. They were then followed for 13 years. The researchers found that those who had managed more than 20 seconds in the original test were far more likely to be alive than those who hadn’t.

Someone in their 50s should be able to manage 40 second with eyes open and eight seconds with their eyes closed. The ability to do this falls with age.

Of course, don’t be alarmed if you find it tricky to start with. It doesn’t mean you’re about to keel over. But while you are in the bathroom, brushing your teeth, you might practise standing on one leg. You’ll find, gradually, that your balance improves.

Dr Michael Mosley: Tackling health concerns remains a top priority for the majority of people.

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