Why do you need to work on your balance?
What is balance? It’s the ability to remain steady in the face of external force (such as gravity or a difficult situation). Interestingly, the physical and emotional balance is intertwined. By balancing your body, you will affect your mind.
Your ability to balance will improve your joint stability and internal focus. As we age, the critical skill of balancing gets more difficult thus working on it is crucial.
Increase your body awareness
Body awareness is the ability to sense where your limbs are oriented in space. It is also the ability to feel surface you touch or walk on with your hands and feet. The more body awareness you have, the healthier and less prone to injury you become.
Balance training requires your entire body to work together, otherwise, you will fall or stumble. Improved balance will affect your coordination in everyday life.
Maintain Joint Stability
All of your major muscle groups will work together to help you stay stable and protect your joints from injury. The sequela is stronger knees, ankles, hips and shoulders.
Faster Reaction Time
When your coordination and stability improve, your ability to re-balance will get better too.
Long Term Health
Incorporating balance training into your exercise routine helps to prevent falls and fractures. It will also enable you to walk further and exercise longer.
It will make you happier
A not-so-well-known benefit of balance is the positive relationship it has with mental health. Balance and mental health are both affected by many moving parts. Activities such as Yoga and Tai Chi are being studied as methods to improve mental health and physical balance.
Try these balance exercises:
- See how long you can stand on one foot, or try holding your balance for 10-30 seconds on each side. If you find standing on one foot very challenging at first, try this progression to improve your balance:
- Hold on to a wall or sturdy chair with both hands to support yourself.
- Next, hold on with only one hand.
- Then support yourself with only one finger.
- When you are steady on your feet, try balancing with no support at all.
- Walk heel to toe for 20 steps. Steady yourself with a wall if you need a little extra support.
- Walk normally in as straight a line as you can.
Ready to balance? You can learn more by going to www.balancedflow.today and looking at our balance videos!
Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services can help you with your exercise routine. Our caregivers can assist and support you as you exercise. Call or text us today at 312-526-3666 to find out about our senior care services.
Post contributed by Dominika Hertsberg, DC, CES, E-CYT at Balanced Flow Medical.