Nutrition and Health

A Matter of Balance classes

Many older adults experience concerns about falling.  The risk of falling rises with age and is a leading cause of major, if not fatal, injuries among seniors.  According to the National Council on Aging, more than one in three people 65 years or older fall each year and more than 1/6 million older adults go to emergency departments for fall-related injuries.

What makes matters worse is with increasing age also comes the fear of falling.  In fact, research shows older adults are three times more fearful of falling than being robbed.  This fear often leads to restricting or avoiding their once healthy activities like walking, shopping or attending social events.  There is hope however.  Seniors can challenge perceived limitations and develop strategies to help them succeed in preventing or reducing falls and the fear of falling.

To recognize this important issue, the MU Extension is offering an award winning program called "A Matter of Balance".  This program emphasizes practical strategies to manage falls.  Participants will learn to:  view falls as controllable, set goals for increasing activity, make changes to reduce falls at home and exercise to increase strength and balance.  A Matter of Balance is designed to benefit community living older adults who are concerned about falls; have sustained a fall in the past; restrict activities because of concerns about falling; are interested in improving flexibility, balance and strength; and are age 60 or older, ambulatory and able to problem solve.

A Matter of Balance is being offered at Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach.  The class will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoons for eight weeks from Jan. 4 to Feb. 22, 2017.  The eight sessions will be presented by Sarah Traub, a Human  Development and Family Science Specialist and Amy Bartels, a Nutrition and Health Education Education Specialist for the MU Extension.

Do you have concerns about falling flyer (PDF)

Stay Strong, Stay Healthy classes

Strength training is no longer just for body builders, Stay Strong, Stay Healthy is held in familiar settings such as Senior Centers and church halls, not in the gym.  No need to wear special clothes - just comfortable, loose-fitting pants and shirt and sturdy closed-toe walking shoes.  Stay Strong, Stay Healthy is designed for middle-aged and older adults who want to improve quality of life and stay active.  Instructors have been trained by University of Missouri Extension faculty to lead this program.  These types of exercises are easy to learn, safe and effective.  This program includes warm-up exercises; eight simple strengthening exercises, done with or without weights; and cool down stretches.

Strength training has many benefits:

  • Arthritis relief
  • Strengthen bones
  • Lifts depression
  • Reduces risk for heart disease
  • Improves balance and flexibility
  • Healthy weight maintenance
  • Reduces stress
  • Maintain healthy blood sugar levels

Over eight weeks you will increase your strength and improve your balance.  After the program is over you can continue the simple strength training program with a group at your center, or in the comfort of your home.  Weights will be available on site and trained instructors will help you learn and do these exercises safely.

Classes will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays starting on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 and ending on Monday, Mar. 6, 2017.  All classes are held at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 1700 Bagnell Dam Boulevard, Lake Ozark.  Cost is $40 per participant. Class size is limited and pre-registration is required.  For more information or to register, call MU Extension in Camden County at 573-346-2644 or by email at

Stay Strong, Stay Healthy flyer (PDF)