For most, balance is an automatic reaction. You don’t have to put much effort into thinking about it. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t!
Here are some facts about balance and some different ways you can strengthen it!
Improved Reaction Times
Having a good sense of balance can help improve coordination and help you to remain upright if there is a challenge to your posture. Being able to react to a trip, someone knocking into you, or a missed step can help you to avoid a fall and potential injury.
Strengthen Hard to Activate Muscles
Challenging the muscles that are responsible for maintaining balance is a great way to activate muscles that can be otherwise hard to reach. A fair amount of balance is generated in the core: the obliques, abdominals, and the deep muscles of the back that act on the spine. Also included are the muscles of the hips, thighs, and glutes.
It is also no coincidence that the muscles responsible for maintaining balance are also those used predominantly in the gait cycle! Walking is all about balance and coordination, as it takes a great deal of each to work the body through each step of the cycle. Whether its the toe off or swing through, the body has to be controlled so as not to fall over when it is challenged by the dynamic motion inherent to walking.
Balance and Independence
Balance and independence go hand in hand. For many of our day to day activities we require some type of balance. Activities like standing in the shower and rinsing off require static standing balance while activities like cooking require dynamic standing balance because you are moving around and weight shifting. Both static and dynamic balance are equally important to our ability to get our everyday tasks done as well as participate in our hobbies and leisure activities
At Home Exercises for Improving Balance
For all exercises ensure that you are exercising within your abilities and that you have a sturdy object near you to steady yourself if necessary.
Standing Balance Exercise:
The first step to check your balance is a single leg stance. Stand tall, feet hip with apart, bring arms out to your side, lift one leg to a 90 degree angle. Can you hold this position for one minute. Now try balancing on your other leg.