Benefits of Good Balance
Unless you practice balance exercises you may lose it sooner than you need to. Loss of balance may start as you get a bit wobbly getting in and out of the bathtub, or need to walk down the stairs more slowly. It happens as we age, but your balance may be “off” for other reasons — injury, illness, poor posture, poor vision, obesity, weak core muscles, or a brain that is not properly trained to stay balanced.
Balance is your body and your brain’s equilibrium, or stability. It’s at the core of nearly every physical and mental action you perform. In fact, building your “core” muscles — those that surround your trunk — is the key to staying strong and upright as you age. Without a strong core, you’re more likely to suffer back pain, lose your balance and fall, or be more prone to injury during exercise. In the same way, maintaining and building balance in your brain is just as important for your overall health.
Test your balance: Stand on one foot with your eyes closed. If you can’t hold still for at least 10 seconds without becoming wobbly, it’s time for some easy balance training. Don’t forget to wear supportive shoes and keep a chair nearby to rest your hand if need be.
Eyes-Closed Balance Routine
- On one leg, arms out to each side, eyes closed, balance for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
- On one leg, arms hugging your chest, eyes closed, balance for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
Eyes-Closed Balance Hop
- On one leg, hop-forward and back 10 times; stabilize between hops. Switch legs and repeat.
- On one leg, hop-side to side 10 times; stabilize between hops. Switch legs and repeat.
Also, when possible, make sure that you always opt for stairs instead of using the elevator. This too will help keep your body and your mind sharper and more balanced!
Source-healthy100.org and Donna Schuller, C.N.C.
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