What is the importance of balance training?
It’s the primary way to prevent falls. Balance training also incorporates muscle strength and improves endurance, and with consistency, speed up reaction times.
Balance improves joint stability through increasing muscle strength around the joints, which in turn lowers your risk for injury. So doing regular strength and balance exercises can reduce your risk of falling.
How can you improve your balance?
1. Walking, hiking, stairs strengthens the muscles in your lower body.
2. Pilates strengthens your core and teaches you correct movement patterns to make your muscles more effective.
3. Progressive balance exercises, like standing on one leg while holding onto the kitchen counter begins to train your body in how to react to outside stimuli.
As we age, unfortunately we begin to lose muscle mass, which in turn decreases our capacity for balancing. Balance is key to leading an active life and is actually one of those things that you don’t have to lose with age. The more you work on balance (daily), the more your body remembers what it needs to do to keep you upright. When you stop balance exercises, you lose it.
Consistent daily exercise helps to not only improve your core strength so that you are steady when standing and walking, but it trains your body to react well to physical distractions that can set you off balance.
When working on balance, you are strengthening your core muscles, in particular the lower abdominals and gluteals (buttocks). This is what improves your joint stability, specifically the hip and ankle. How many times have you heard someone falling and breaking their hip?
Where do you begin?
Stand in front of a mirror and place equal weight on both feet and distribute that weight evenly throughout the entire foot. Make yourself 2″ taller. Then shift your weight from your ankle to your head over to one leg. Be sure your trunk/pelvis/shoulders are all in 1 line. Once you are on one leg, you don’t even have to pick up your other foot yet, you should feel your buttocks tighten up to hold you there. If you decide to try to lift the foot off the floor, get even taller as you do this and you will feel the abdominals kick in too.
So if you have fallen or know someone who has fallen in the past 2 weeks, give us a call to see how we can help you. Click here to schedule your Free 20 minute call with us.