Losing your balance? Here's a test...

Putting one foot in front of the other should be easy, right? Yet as we age, our balance and coordination deteriorates, putting us at risk of falls and fractures.

One contributing factor can be gradual age-related muscle loss, and specifically the loss of type 2, or "fast twitch" muscle fibres. This is the type of muscle that helps correct your balance when you're about to fall, as opposed to type 1 fibres which provide endurance.

Here's a test...

Stand on one leg for thirty seconds. Notice your movement as you try to maintain your balance. It those small corrective movements that stop you from falling.

Now close your eyes and try again. Difficult, right?

As we age, it becomes harder to maintain balance, and some of this is unavoidable. But one thing we can do about it is to continue to build, or reduce the loss of, muscle mass on our legs and core. What's more, as the kind of muscle we lose first is type 2 "fast twitch" muscle, the earlier you start changing your diet to incorporate more protein and increasing the amount of physical activity to incorporate more resistance exercise, the less likelihood there is that you will suffer from falls and fractures in later life.