Why Should You Practice Balance Training?

Why Should You Practice Balance Training?

Most of us think that there are only two extremes when it comes to fitness: we either go to the gym 5 times a week, or we just take a walk after dinner sometimes. The reality though is that everyone has different needs and goals when it comes to fitness, and for basic good health most often the answer is somewhere in between those extremes. And you don’t have to go to a gym to be strong and to be doing everything you need to keep your body healthy. (See one of our physiotherapists if you'd like some guidance on a fitness routine that best suits your needs.)

Before we digress to a different topic, let’s explore why balance training should be a part of your fitness routine, whether it’s a basic one from home or an advanced plan at the gym or something in between.

Here are 3 great reasons to add balance training to your weekly routine:

1. Preventing Falls. This is easily the best reason to practice balancing, as it may take only one fall to affect the rest of your life. One little hit to the head or a broken bone can not only sideline you for a while, but it can also have repercussions to other parts of your life that you might not even be able to imagine. And while it might be a major undertaking to start learning the "break-fall" training that they teach in martial arts classes, it should at least be an imperative of yours to practice a little balance training to avoid falls.

2. Joint Stability. Athletes often injure their ankles, knees or hips, and so they work in balance routines to stay playing their best. But the average person can prevent common ankle rolling and also knee and hip pain with balance exercises too. If you’ve ever had pain in your lower limbs, you know how debilitating it can be!

3. Better Posture. Believe it or not, balance training can help your upper body too! So if you get upper back and/or neck pain, practicing balance may help get you on your way to feeling better (though you may want to add in more upper body postural exercises to help too). Putting your body in the dynamic states required for balance training teaches your postural muscles to activate, to help keep you upright.

Some ways you can begin to improve your balance include:

a. Standing on One Foot. If you’re a beginner, start near a wall and try to do 30 seconds on each foot, then as you get better at that you can increase the time to 45 seconds, 60 seconds, and so on. You can also challenge yourself by bending the leg and doing single-leg squats, and also leaning in different directions such as one does in various yoga postures. You can even try simple balancing on one foot with your eyes open and then closed.

b. Yoga or Tai Chi. These two forms of exercise incorporate various ways to challenge your body’s ability to balance, though they may only offer a mild benefit depending on the teacher and/or style.

Please be careful and also patient with yourself when training! Just the simple regularity of balance training can have incredible effects, so don’t get discouraged if you aren’t a superstar right away. Your body will reap the benefits regardless!

If you’d like some more information, would like to book a free consultation, or would like to go ahead and schedule an appointment at Yellow Gazebo, please give us a call at 416-909-2334, email us at info@yellowgazeboclinic.com, or use the online booking link below. We’ll be happy to help you get on your way to optimum health.

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