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Break Out the Medicine Balls

Playing Catch May Help Seniors Avoid Falls

Preventing falls can be fun for seniors! New research found that seniors who played catch with a weighted medicine ball experienced improved balance, which may help prevent falls. The University of Illinois at Chicago study was published in Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology and in Experimental Brain Research. Researchers say that as we age, we can lose the ability to maintain balance, but training with a ball improves the body's ability to generate anticipatory postural adjustments for fall prevention. Researchers now plan to study the long-term effects of training with a ball, but they know that the research participants had fun. "It seems that most people have very positive memories associated with playing catch," says Alexander Aruin, professor of physical therapy at UIC.

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