Balance Training Made Simple
Balance training is essential for a complete fitness program and is often the most neglected. Balance is the ability to have control of your body in time and space. It can be static, like balancing on one foot or it can be dynamic, like hopping or skipping. You balance every day while you walk. However, since you’ve been walking since you were 1 years old, you don’t give it a second thought, unless you are stricken with an illness or injury.
Balance in my experience is the most overlooked and arguably the most important component to a health & fitness program for the goal of aging gracefully. Why? Because the word itself says it all! If you don’t have balance you really don’t have anything. This includes all areas of your life.
Reasons For Training Balance
- Balance for Injury Prevention – Improving your balance has shown a lot of promise in being able to prevent injuries according to a recent study done at Harvard.
- Balance For Total Body Conditioning – Balance training works your body from the inside out, not just the muscles you feel.
- Performance Enhancement – Many people today are engaging in recreational sports like tennis, golf, surfing, and long-distance runs. Balance training is great to add to your athletic skills for performance enhancement.
Balance Training Exercises
- Stand with your feet close together and close your eyes for 30 – 60 seconds. If you have a challenge staying balanced my recommendation is to hold on to something stable until you get better.
- Stand on 1 foot close for 30 – 60 seconds. This can be very challenging so if you have a challenging time staying balanced, my recommendation is to also hold on to something stable.
- Stand on 1 foot with your eyes closed for 30 – 60 seconds. This is the ultimate challenge of balance.
Anyone can balance train, and should, so please do it. Balance training improves the health, balance, and performance of everyone from beginners to advanced athletes, young and not-so-young.
If you’re new to exercising, it’s a great place to start. Focusing on your core and balance improves overall strength and gets your body ready for more advanced exercises. Start off easy.
If you’re an advanced exerciser, you’ll likely find you still need to start with somewhat simple moves if balancing is still a challenge. Then push yourself to perform more complex moves that both challenge your muscular strength and your aerobic stamina.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein
Yours in health & fitness,