Find Your Place: Assess Your Stability

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

The soles of your shoes can reveal a lot about how stable you are on your feet.

Do the soles of your shoes have signs of uneven wear and tear? Does the inner edge look more worn than the outer edge or vice versa? Or does one shoe look particularly worn while the other doesn't? In this video, SilverSneakers fitness expert David Jack shows how your shoes can give you clues about your stability.

You'll need the shoes you most often wear for exercise. Try the test now, then see what your results mean below.

If Wear and Tear Is Mostly Even

That’s a sign you’re stable on your feet. Your shoes suggest you’re distributing your weight evenly, giving you a good base of support—which is crucial for proper total-body alignment and safe movement.

Your goal: Stay strong on your feet for life with these six balance exercises for better stability. Love yoga? Try these eight poses that improve balance.

If Wear and Tear Is Uneven

That’s a sign you may have an imbalance in how you move—which means you’re less stable on your feet. This lack of stability can limit independence: If you’re afraid to move, you may become less active and social. It can also increase your risk of falls.

The good news is there's a lot you can do to give yourself a good foundation. Start by looking at your feet and shoes.

“If you don’t have full range of motion in your base of support, either because of restrictive footwear or unfit feet, then all your other joints and muscles have to compensate,” says Katy Bowman, M.S., a biomechanist and coauthor of Dynamic Aging: Simple Exercises for Whole-Body Mobility. Get your feet in shape with these four foot exercises you should do every day.

What else can help: improving total-body strength and stability with SilverSneakers classes.

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If You Have Balance Issues or a Chronic Condition

Some health situations, like balance issues or diabetes, require special attention to your feet or risk of falls. Talking to your doctor can help you stay safe in daily life and find the right fitness plan for you. Ask these three questions:

  • What types of exercise are appropriate for me?
  • How often and how much should I do them?
  • Are there precautions or steps I should take? For example, people with diabetes will want to examine their feet regularly. People with osteoporosis may need to avoid certain moves.

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SilverSneakers members can go to thousands of gyms and fitness locations across the nation, plus take exercise classes designed for seniors and led by supportive instructors. If you have a Medicare Plan, it may include SilverSneakers—at no additional cost. Check your eligibility instantly here.

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