Don’t Take Your Balance for Granted
Balance is one of those things that we take for granted in our day-to-day life. I imagine we can all agree that without balance it would make our daily activities more challenging. You would be surprised at how many people struggle when asked to balance on one leg. There have been multiple occasions when I am teaching a class and I see people struggle to balance on one leg. It’s safe to say that it’s quite an “eye-opener” for some people when they see how much they’re struggling to do something that they feel should be second nature.
Balance or, “proprioception” (the ability to feel where you are in space) is an important skill to practice and incorporate throughout your daily life. Although balance may seem elementary, by practicing it on a regular basis, it can help prevent you from serious injuries.
You can’t prevent all the falls from happening but your can prepare yourself better for the situation by practicing balance.
Practicing Balance integrates the entire body
By practicing a skill like balance it will wake up and strengthen the stabilizing muscles of your feet, ankles, hips and deeper muscles of the core. It is also great to training your brain to remain sharp and responsive. At first it may seem monotonous, and boring but there are many ways to make balancing an enjoyable experience.
Stephen Jepson lifetime mover and advocate of playing and training your brain has said the following:
“ Standing and balancing on one foot at a time while typing at your desk, pacing while on the phone, or sitting while playing with toys for the hands or feet – all are essential to age proof the mind and body.”
Here are five simple ways that you can add a little flavor to your balance training.
- Practice with your eyes closed
- Practice one leg in front of you
- Practice one leg behind you
- Try an catch a ball either off a wall or with a partner
- On an unstable object.
Balance will prepare you for more advanced skills down the road.
Once you have good balance then it makes working on other strength movements like pistols, shrimp squats and dragon squats much more accessible.
Falling and hip injuries are one of the leading causes of hip fractures in our older population. Lets lead by example to motivate others and practice our so we can help prevent any falls that may interfere with the aging process.
I am going to be posting videos and pictures on my social media sites to help motivate people to practice. I encourage you to join me, Follow along with the challenge and feel free to tag me and use the hashtag #singlelegbalance.