Every year, millions of people are rushed to the emergency room for fall-related injuries. After we hit 30, our muscles gradually weaken slightly. The length of our strides shortens, our steps slow down in pace and our vision – which of course is critical for coordination and balance – deteriorates. Having said this, aging isn’t the only reason we might lose our sense of balance or stability – and balance is a fundamental skill that improves with practice and precision. As children, we’re constantly exercising our balance as we run, play and explore new things. From falling over to jumping, we are working on building our balance daily. As we get older, we tend to be less active and we’re certainly not jumping all over the place; which means that our balance is less exercised and we’re not activating our core as we should be. The good news is that our balance is use it or lose it – and so few people realise how important it is to work on your balance and stability. This blog post will cover why balance is important for fitness, how to know if your balance is good or bad and different ways you can start working to improve your balance and stability.
First thing’s first – working to improve your balance will help your general mobility, and help you to be more agile and stable.This is particularly important for those among us who may be a little older. Improving your balance will help to increase your fitness, reduce any injuries, improve your mobility and help you to push yourself further when you work out.
The signs of poor balance can be so minimal they’re difficult to pick up on. If you suffer from shaky handwriting and poor spacial awareness meaning you’re constantly covered in bumps and bruises from knocking into things, you could probably do with working on your balance. However, it’s not just those with poor mobility who need to be working on their balance. We should all be taking steps to work on exercising and improving our balance to improve our quality of life. Balance is something which greatly improves with practice, so keeping your agility in check is something we should all be mindful of – especially as we get older!
Here are our top tips for working on your balance.
- Stand on one leg wherever possible. Whether you’re making a cup of tea or watching the telly, simply practicing standing on one leg and finding your centre is a great little tip for exercising your balance
- Incorporate exercises which focus on balance into your routine. Different squat variations, lunges and any moves whilst on a wobble board will all help to improve your stability
- If you’re not used to regular exercise, working simple balance steps like sideways walking, a classic grapevine and stepping up and down on an exercise step will help to improve your mobility without pushing yourself too hard
- Practice gentle yoga or pilates exercises that will work on your core, stability and strength
- Try closing your eyes! Your vision is a big factor when it comes to balance. Try some of these exercises in a safe space with your eyes closed and see how you get on
Regardless of your level of fitness, your level of ability or your age, you should be working to improve your balance regularly for your fitness. We hope you’ve found these tips useful!