Everyone deals with an imbalance from time to time—they overdraft their checking account, or they focus on work without making time to play. Balance is key to a happy and healthy life. But, what about the often ignored imbalance issue of your body? Do you occasionally stumble, misstep or lose your balance when standing or make a quick movement? Here, you’ll find a cheat sheet about the importance of balance, and what you can do to improve yours.
Most people have had to catch themselves from falling at one time or another. Embarrassing but true, it happens to us all. But aside from the clumsiness factor, why is it so important that we ‘fix’ the balance issue—and why is balance training such a trend?
Balance is the ability your body has to be in control. It keeps your feet (literally) grounded and your body (metaphorically speaking) in check. When you have good balance, then you have total control over your limbs, your walk, your run, and your day to day activity. Easily prevent injury and gain more awareness of your surrounding by improving your balance. Here’s how:
- Get into a ‘squatting’ mood. You may already know that squats are a terrific full body workout. What you may not know is how great they are for strengthening your balance. If you already incorporate squats a few times a week into your strength training, increase the number of reps, or add another squat session in on the weekend.
- Improve your balance on one leg at a time. If you’re used to giving excuses about why you can’t do a workout—“I don’t have time to get to the gym” for example—this balance strengthener should be filed under “the no excuse balance plan.” Simply stand up in your living room (you can do it while watching Shark Tank so you don’t miss a thing!) or first thing in the morning after getting out of bed. Stand on your right leg and lift up your left. Stand like that as long as you can, and then repeat on the opposite side.
- Take two yoga classes a week. If there’s one exercise class that will help you improve your balance (not to mention your flexibility, concentration and patience!) it’s yoga. The standing tree pose is a great way to begin, and when you challenge yourself by lifting one leg up against the other, you’ll improve your balance in no time.
Whether you’re balance is average, or it could use some improvement, begin now. Procrastinate later. Because, when you improve your balance, you improve what you can control—awareness of your body, mind and overall good health!