When most people start an exercise program their “goal” hardly ever includes improving one’s balance. As a matter of fact, we rarely think about our balance. Balance is something most of us take for granted until we experience challenges. Yet balance is crucial to our well-being—it prevents falls, helps us navigate uneven terrain, keeps us upright and helps us to be more sure-footed. For example, common tasks like walking, taking the stairs and even bringing the body to a standing from a sitting position require balance. Good balance also equals good posture. Balance tasks are owed to proprioception; the ability to sense the position, location and orientation of each body part in relation to other parts. Watch this video for some good balance techniques that you can do every day that exemplify proprioception.
Balance exercises are also important for reducing injury risk. For example, if you sprain your ankle, you could be at risk for re-injury if you don’t retrain your balance. If you do balance exercises after the injury, it retrains the muscles to contract together, which better stabilizes the joint during movements and prevents re-injury. As we improve our balance we strengthen our stabilizer muscles, improve our range of motion and solidify our core.
Examples of a few simple balance exercises include:
- Standing with your weight on one leg and raising the other leg to the side or behind you.
- Putting your heel right in front of your toe, like walking a tightrope.
- Standing up and sitting down from a chair without using your hands.
- Walking while alternating knee lifts with each step.
So consider adding balance exercises to your workout. You’ll see improvements in coordination, posture and your activities of daily living. Adding balance exercises to your exercise regime can be fun. Often you don’t even realize you are exercising because your mind is so focused. The best news is that you can do balance exercises right now because balance exercises require absolutely no special equipment.
And if you are not working out regularly, let’s talk. My favorite workout is one that last no longer than 30 minutes done in the privacy of my studio. If you are interested I would love to teach you these workouts. Click here for more information. No special equipment is needed, and working out in the privacy of my studio and your own home gives autonomy and freedom. There’s no one to judge and no one to compare yourself to.
That’s it for today….
Have a sparkling day,