The Importance of Exercise & Training for Balance at Every Age

Balance is the key to all functional moment. It is simply defined as the body’s ability to control and stabilize itself.

When you were young balance was never an issue, whether you realized it or not balance training was part of your everyday activities. Such as  riding a bike, playing hop scotch, climbing, running and jumping. As we mature our daily routines change and we become more sedentary. Our lives keep us seated for a majority of the day. In simple terms; as a result of inactivity the brain simply does not remember how to balance effectively, as the expression goes “Use it or Lose It”.

It is important to understand exactly what balance is and how it affects our everyday lives.  When we assess balance we look at a number of components:

Neuromuscular Component– This is the brains message to the body to balance and stabilize.  So we must challenge the brain in an unstable environment to stimulate a reaction.

Joint stability – Joints are the intersection where bones connective tissue and muscles meet and movement occurs. If joints are not stable the body is challenged during acceleration (speeding up) or more importantly deceleration (slowing down) so if there is a lack of stability your body may not be able to handle walking up or down stairs, off or up curbs or any type of incline without the risk of falling or placing extreme stress on the joints. This lack of stability can potentially cause serious injury.

Posture – When we discuss posture in basic terms consider how the spine is aligned in relation to the joints. So if posture is poor chances are the body is going to be challenged when trying to maintain stability. The spine should be aligned so that the head and trunk fall directly over the pelvis. If posture is poor balance is compromised.

Best place to start

  • Practice standing on one foot for 10 second. For safety stand next to the wall for support.
  • Take the stairs- Take the stairs and skip the escalator or elevator. You’re balance training, pumping your heart and burning more calories.
  • Get out and ride a bike – As the saying goes “it’s like riding a bike, you never forget”
  • Schedule a session with a personal trainer – Learn to improve posture, balance and strengthen joints safely from a professional.
  • Take a trip to a health professional such as a chiropractor or a physical therapy – A prescription for specific exercise to improve posture and stability may be needed to get started.

Taking the steps to improve balance can reduce the risk of fall and injury. Reduce the risk and take the steps to improve your balance immediately