Balance Boosters — Add Years to Your Life!
Everything you do relies on your ability to balance, but with age, you lose sensory perception and muscle strength, which are the very things that keep your body’s balance intact. Maintaining good balance while you age is important because without it you are far more likely to fall or injure yourself, especially during physical activity. Follow the tips below to improve your balance and increase your fitness.
Get up and move every day:
Research shows that almost all physical activities that keep you on your feet and moving will improve the balancing system of your body. Especially if you exercise with weights, as they force your muscles to overcome resistance and improve your stability. Take some light hand-held weights with you on your next walk around the block and you’ll be well on your way to increasing your balance and strengthening your muscles.
Stand on one leg:
Practice standing on one leg while staring at a stationary object a few feet in the distance. After you are able to do this for at least 30 seconds without wobbling, practice it with your eyes closed.
Stretching is a great way to improve your balance and range of motion. For fast results, try stretching a couple of times a week with lightweight, hand-held weights. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Next, lean forward and round your back so that your shoulders are curved forward and then arch your back so that your shoulder roll backward. Do this a few times in a row.
Balance on a wobble board:
They come in a wide range of prices and you can find numerous sites online that provide exercises for their use. Not only will wobble boards improve your balance, many fitness experts believe they also help to strengthen your bones, tendons, and fascia.
Join a tai chi class:
This ancient Chinese martial art is known to increase balance, cardiorespiratory fitness, and endurance. If you can’t find a nearby class, download the Tai Chi Fundamentals app on your iPhone or smartphone for free.
Research movements online:
A lot of movements in yoga and barre classes can help increase your balancing abilities. Try following a few free online videos for yoga and ballet movements at home, and if you like the exercises and want to pursue them further, join a nearby studio.
Keep your legs close together:
During standing exercises, such as squats or biceps curls, bring your legs closer together. The narrower your base of body support, the more difficult it is to remain balanced, which makes this is a great way to challenge your balance levels.
Do you have any balancing tricks that you practice that were not mentioned above? Please share them with us in the comments!