Balance is so automatic to us that we don’t notice its importance until it’s not there
It’s essential to every move we make in daily life that is working against the pull of gravity. Walking, running, cooking, cleaning. The minute we have to use our muscles to keep us upright our balance comes into play. What’s more it is key factor in helping us maintain focus because of its connection to the breath. It is not suprising that scientific research has shown balance to be a factor in mental clarity and easing anxiety.
As we age, the critical systems in the body start to weaken, and our balance suffers. It’s not only the over-80s who have to work on keeping balance. Balance begins to decline between 40 and 50 years of age.
We usually don’t think about balance until we fall or hurt ourselves. It’s important to work on balance and improve body awareness throughout life before falls and other injuries happen.
How do you improve or maintain your balance?
Here are some simple and practical exercises designed to improve balance from Just Believe Fit instructor, Cat Lane, who is a mindful movement and meditation teacher with 10 years of training:
- Change levels frequently. Practise getting down on the floor and up again several times over. Give yourself extra points if you do it without using your hands. Putting on your shoes or socks is the perfect time to get down low and go, go, go!
- Challenge your brain to create new neural pathways. This will help build new brain body connections, and develop coordination for better balance.Try your usual functional movement activities in an unusual way. For example, brush your teeth with the opposite hand or stir the pot anti-clockwise for a change.
- Be curious, playful and adventurous in your balance training. Stand on one foot while doing the dishes or hanging out the washing. Ascend the stairs sideways and slowly to open up new spatial and proprioceptive awareness.
Our bodies might start to age, but we are never to old to learn.
Start building balances skills today for will physical longevity and mental agility and most importantly to avoid injury