Practice standing on one leg to stay young

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HOW well you can balance could give an insight into your overall general health.

A study found that being unable to stand on one leg for more than 20 seconds was linked to an increased risk of a ‘silent’ stroke, which are tiny bleeds in the brain that don’t cause symptoms, but which raise the risk of both full-blown strokes and dementia.

The UK’s Medical Research Council found that 53-year-olds who could stand on one leg for 10 seconds with their eyes closed were the most likely to be fit and well in 13 years’ time. However, those who could only manage a few seconds were three times as likely to die before the age of 66.

There are some things you can do to improve your balance system and keep it working well. Try marching on the spot to strengthen the coordination between your body and your eye movement.

Swap shoes during the day, this can help keep the balance sensors in your feet and legs. Watch your blood pressure as high blood pressure can lead to tiny arteries in the brain hardening, which can lead to balance issues.

Go for a swim or play bowls, as gentle exercise helps preserve balance, and both improve hand-eye-body coordination.

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