Do you ever feel like life is a constant juggling act? Well, you're not alone. Just like a tightrope walker, we all strive for balance in our lives, especially when it comes to our health and fitness. In this lesson, we'll explore why balance matters, how to test it, and simple ways to improve it.
Balance is the cornerstone of overall well-being. As important as it is, balance is a physical ability we usually take for granted.
Here's why balance matters:
Preventing Falls: Falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide. As we age, the risk of falls increases, especially among women. Good balance is your first line of defense against accidents and injuries.
Daily Functionality: From getting out of bed to reaching for a high shelf, balance plays a role in nearly everything we do. A balanced body means increased independence.
Injury Prevention: When it comes to your fitness routine, balance can help you avoid strains and injuries during workouts. It's your body's natural shock absorber.
Test Your Balance: The 10-Second Challenge
Here's a quick and straightforward test to check your balance:
Step 1: Stand near a chair or counter that you can grab if you need to.
Step 2: Simply raise one foot off the floor and stand for 10 seconds.
You get three tries.
If you passed the test, that’s awesome! But don’t take it for granted — keep working on your balance.
You can take the test a step further by trying the test with your eyes closed and see how you do.
BUT, if you struggled, it might be time to get serious about improving your balance — and it’s also a good idea to mention it to your healthcare provider at your next visit.
Scientists in Brazil found that 20% of older adults who took this test couldn’t pass it.
Here’s the kicker: NOT being able to balance on one leg for 10 seconds was linked with a twofold risk of death (from any cause!) within the next 10 years.
Many factors can play into balance issues, from lack of strength, medications, inner ear issues, and some health conditions.
Ways to Boost Your Balance
The good news is there are things you can do to improve your balance. In fact, the exercise you did in this test can be a good start to help you improve your balance!
Here are some more specific and practical ways to enhance your balance:
⚖️ Balance Exercises
T’ai chi, yoga, dance fitness classes, stretching, and more can all help. Include exercises like standing on one foot, heel-to-toe walking, and yoga poses like the graceful Tree Pose in your routine.
🏋🏽♀️ Strength Training Building leg and core muscles can significantly improve balance. Squats, lunges, and planks are your go-to moves.
🏄🏽♀️ Proprioception Training: Ever heard of proprioception? It's your body's GPS system. Train it by balancing on uneven surfaces or using a wobble board or Bosu ball.
🧘🏾♀️ Mindfulness Matters: Balance isn't just physical; it's mental, too. Explore mindfulness practices like meditation and deep breathing to enhance your focus.
🔁 Consistency is Key: Like any skill, balance improves with practice. Be patient with yourself and keep at it.
In a nutshell, balance is your foundation for a healthier, more vibrant you. Like a tightrope walker, you can navigate life gracefully and confidently. So, why wait? Start your journey to better balance today!
Remember, it's not about being perfect; it's about progress. Happy balancing! 🌟
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Hey there! My name is Marissa Rivera-Davis, and I'm a certified health fitness professional and founder of Her365 Fitness, a 24-hour studio gym & wellness community for women. I help women find the time and energy to move more and eat better so they can finally achieve the health & fitness goals that matter to them. My mission is to empower women with the skills and support they need to break free from a mindset of limitation & restriction to find pleasure and joy on their path to improved well-being. Learn more here.