Improving your balance is not only beneficial to help reduce your chance of a fall, it can also spice up your salsa dancing, improve your tennis game, make gardening more enjoyable and make picking up a small child a lot easier. If this resonates with you, you are probably thinking well “How can I improve my balance?”. If this is you then keep reading 😃
So we know that having good balance is imperative to keep us safe in the event of a slip, trip or fall. However, having a good sense of balance and control of our body is so important for us to continue doing that activities that we love.
Activities of daily living require good balance to be able to do them well and do them safely, so learning how to improve your balance skills are necessary.
What is balance?
Balance is the ability of a person to be able to maintain control and body positioning in the response to a movement.
So, How can I Improve My Balance?
Improving your balance is a complex endeavour, but if you’re patient and consistent with your practice it can be improved. Training your lower body to improve your strength is a good start, but is only one piece of the puzzle. Improving your mobility, spatial awareness (knowing where your body is in space) and confidence also play a part in improving your overall balance. In the study Bergland et al on ‘Balance Control in Elderly People’, they determined that 3-months of circuit like exercise programs can improve mobility, balance, and general quality of quality of life.
Once your find your balance is improving with simple exercises, you can challenge yourself more through progressions such as:
- Increasing the complexity of the exercise: (basically making the exercise harder)
- Increasing the range of the exercise:g., in the slow march or high knees drill simply bring your knees higher and slow the exercise down.
- Increasing the weight: If you are using a dumbbell for example increase the weight to something that is more challenging.
- Close your eyes! This is only for the experienced. By closing your eyes, it becomes difficult to judge depth in the area you are standing and therefore making it harder to conduct the exercise you are doing. The harder the exercise the better at it you will become Do this one in a safe and clutter free are preferably under supervision.
Exercises to improve balance
When you are just getting started with balance exercises it is important to practise safe balance exercises
Balance practice: Whilst holding onto something such as a bench or a stable chair, or even a tree in the backyard, raise one foor off the ground and start to draw the letters of the alphabet with your big toe. What is your balance to swim prove and your confidence in Cruz you can have less reliant on the chair or whatever stable object you are holding. Try and get the whole way. Through the alphabet with your big toe. Tracing the letters before swapping feet.
Try this exercise for 10 minutes day!
BE PATIENT AND CONSISTENT!!
Like all pillars of fitness, the most important factor is CONSISTENCY by building positive exercise related habits.
Heath Jones is the founder of Active & Ageless and has over 20 years’ experience in the Health & Wellness space.
He holds the following qualifications:
Bachelor of Nursing
Postgraduate in Exercise Science
Diploma of OHS
Cert 3 & 4 Fitness
Cert 4 Training & Assessment
Older Adults trainer