A number of things can affect your sense of balance as you age. A vision problem or a condition such as Parkinson’s disease or arthritis can make you less secure on your feet. Side effects of medications are another common cause of imbalance. Additionally, as people age, they often become less physically active. When you don’t use your muscles, you lose the muscle strength needed for balance.
Almost any activity that keeps you on your feet and moving is helpful in maintaining good balance. One of the best balance builders is walking. Walking keeps your leg muscles strong. The less you walk, the more you begin to “unlearn” the basic skill of balance. You also become less able to catch yourself when you make a walking mistake, such as tripping. Use good walking shoes and avoid hazards, such as ice.
(Source: Mayo Clinic, on the web at www.mayoclinic.com)