Garlands members prove that achieving better balance is possible with exercise and dedication. After attending The Garlands 14 Week Balance Challenge, 31 of the 35 participants improved their balance!
“Many participants shared how strong and agile they are feeling since joining the classes,” said Dr. Sandra Sieber, The Garlands Inspirational Wellness Advisor, who led the balance classes twice weekly for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. Dr. Sieber’s challenge to improve members’ strength, balance and independence resulted in several success stories.
To gage each person’s progress, Dr. Sieber used the Berg Balance Scale, which is the industry’s gold standard method used to measure balance ability among older adults and assess their fall risk.
While most class participants improved their balance, two significantly lowered their risk of falling. One Garlands member improved his Berg Balance score of 37 (medium fall risk) to a 52 (low fall risk) and another member improved her Berg Balance score of 38 (medium fall risk) to 52 (low fall risk). Several others also bumped up their scores by 8 or more points on the scale, which reflects a genuine improvement in balance function.
In fact, some of the class’s higher level balancers are now able to balance on one foot with eyes closed, and one student can do it for a full 58 seconds—now that takes a lot of poise!
“Good balance is important to helping you live a full and active lifestyle,” Dr. Sieber said. “As you age, balance exercises are especially important because they can help you prevent falls and maintain your confidence and independence.”
Dr. Sieber motivates Garlands members to age well with innovative wellness programming, such as The Garlands 14 Week Balance Challenge, that emphasizes prevention and joyful living. She has a doctorate degree in physical therapy and a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition both from the University of Illinois.