Remember when you were a kid and you could do hand springs and play hopscotch? Those activities of our youth were as much a function of physical balance skills as they were our youthful exhuberance …
Did you know that our physical balance skills begin to decline at age 25? By the time we reach middle age, falling due to lack of balance becomes one of the major factors in household injuries. At age 65 and older, it is the #1 cause of injury.
The good news is, maintaining or even improving our physical balance is a skill. Like any skill, it can be practiced and developed. Here are three ways to improve balance.
Simple Exercises To Improve Balance
There are a few simple exercises you can perform in your home that will gradually improve your balance. One such exercise is the one legged stand. Focus on the wall across from you, or an object in the room. Now, stand on one leg while keeping the other in the air slightly behind you. See if you can hold the position for 30 seconds. It’ll be hard at first!
Another exercise is to sit in a chair and stand up from the chair without pushing off the arm rests or otherwise helping yourself up. Try this ten times in a row. It’s a great balance exercise and helps strengthen your legs.
Pilates and Yoga
If you enjoy group exercise, pilates and yoga classes are ideal to help improve balance. Both of these activities focus on your core muscles, which are critical for balance. As an added benefit, you’ll move toward a longer and leaner physique!
Balance boards are a specialized piece of fitness equipment designed especially to improve your balance. They look like miniature surf boards with a cylinder mounted on the center of the under side of the board.
The object is to remain atop the balance board for progressively longer periods of time without needing to step off or losing balance. It will be extremely difficult at first for most people, but after practicing for a few days you will begin to adapt.
Once you are able to remain atop the balance board for three minutes, you will have better balance skills than 99% of the population. Without a doubt, balance boards are the most effective answer to the question of how to improve balance.
You don’t need to let your physical balance skills deteriorate. Balance is a skill that can be improved through practice. Simple balance exercises can help, as can fitness activities like pilates and yoga. For best results, invest in a balance board and you will see dramatic improvement in your ability to balance.