Chatham, NJ - In 2017 an estimated 6.5 million Americans reported problems of balance or dizziness.    One in three adults over the age of 65 takes a serious fall each year.   And with an aging population this statistic will likely increase.  The good news is that with some practice, individuals can avoid becoming part of that number.  Practicing balance, at any age, along with strength and endurance training can keep you healthy and on your feet for years to come.

The Chatham Club recognizes the importance of balance as a key sense and is offering a new class for all members.  Donna Sue Dowton, a certified group exercise instructor and personal trainer, with certifications in balance, posture, anatomy, chair yoga, and exercise for people with joint replacements, arthritis & osteoporosis, will guide participants weekly in various exercises to improve balance, agility and neuroplasticity.  Neuroplasticity is the idea that the brain is 'plastic' and can continue to make neural connections and learn even as we age, despite the changes in our bodies.  It is like agility for the brain!

I recently took one of her classes and I was surprised how much I had to work to keep my balance.  I practice yoga weekly and have always considered myself very balanced.  Yet this class showed me some fun exercises to improve my balance, including focusing on agility and brain training.  Donna Sue had us laughing while we balanced on balls; closed our eyes while standing on one foot; threw balls to each other while in a squat position…all to improve the agility that is critical to good balance.  Of course, Donna Sue was able to tie her shoe while balancing on one foot on top of a BOSU.  With practice and ongoing exercises she assured us that we can all accomplish that skill as well.

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Fabio Comana, an instructor with the National Academy of Sports Medicine says “An enhanced sense of stability doesn't just help protect you from future falls. There are immediate health benefits—better mobility, fewer injuries, greater capacity to push yourself harder during workouts—that increase overall fitness.”

Balance… use it or lose it!  Come by the Chatham Club and check out the new balance class with Donna Sue Dowton.   For membership information please contact Barbara Grobert: 973-377-1900