The Breakdown on Balance

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Balance is a complex system that calls upon all of the senses in your body (to tell you how you are moving), your brain (to piece this information together), and your muscles (to control your movements) to work together. Riding a bike, reaching for the chocolate hiding on the top shelf, playing hopscotch or jumping from rock to rock at the park would all be impossible without balance.

The breakdown on balance

By incorporating balance training into your work out you will benefit from greater coordination, muscle isolation, core stabilisation and better posture. Your ability to balance also contributes to your mobility and can prevent you from falling, slipping or succumbing to another injury which means you’ll be stronger and remain independent for longer. Awesome, right?

You can introduce some of the below balance exercises in to your weekly workouts, or you may even like to practice them throughout your day, such as in the supermarket checkout, making a cup of tea, or waiting for the bus. Just be sure to have something sturdy nearby that you can hold on to in case you become unsteady.

Slow and steady

Standing heel toe
Position your heel in front of the toes of your opposite foot. Hold for 30 seconds and change feet.

Walking heel toe
Slowly walk forwards positioning your heel just in front of the toes of your opposite foot with each step.

Single leg stance
Lift your right foot a few inches off the floor, bending that knee slightly and balance on your left leg. Hold this position for as long as you can. Repeat with your left leg.

Standing leg extension
Stand behind a chair with your feet a hips-width apart. Holding on to the chair, lean forward and bend at the hips. Keeping your hips at a 45 degree angle slowly lift your right leg and extend it behind you, keeping your knee straight. Stay in this position for two second and then return to standing position. Repeat with your left leg, and alternate between both legs for up to 10 repetitions per leg.

 

While they may seem like simple exercises to many, just a few reps of these exercises a week will really pay dividends when it comes to your health.

Click here for the final part in our 5-part exercise series, Part 5: Relaxation.

Photo Credit: The Upside Blog