Great Balance to Improve Balance
Balance exercises are extremely important to maintain proper posture and retain control of your body as you grow older. Maintaining balance reduces the incidences of falls and helps maintain independence by promoting body coordination.
Typically, any exercise that keeps you on your feet is good for balance. In addition, many balance exercises also help to strengthen core muscles, which not only helps to keep your abs toned but also assists in performing daily tasks. Yoga and tai-chi are two examples of body movements and exercises that promote balance.
Here are a few exercises that help maintain balance and good health:
- Single-leg balance, with eyes open and then closed: This is a common exercise performed by runners during their warm-up routine. Start by standing straight, making sure the feet are pointing forward and are shoulder-width apart. Tuck the chin in slightly and push the chest out. Tighten the glutes and core muscles, lift one foot backward and grab it with the corresponding hand. Hold this position for 3 to 5 deep breaths, release and repeat for the other leg. Often one may begin to lose their balance the moment one foot leaves the ground. If this occurs, use a stool or the wall as a support.
- Ball quadruped: To perform this exercise you will need a balance ball. Place the hips and stomach on the ball, while tightening the core and glutes and keeping arms and legs touching the floor. The ball will have a tendency to roll depending on one’s ability to maintain the body balanced on top of it. The goal of this exercise is to prevent the ball from rolling in one direction or the other. Once this level is mastered, one can lift up one leg and the opposing arm at the same time and then switch, holding each side for 2-3 seconds.
- Squats on the bosu ball: For this exercise, you need a bosu ball and space for both yourself and the ball. You will be using the flat side the ball in this exercise and balance off the circular side. The first trick here is maintaining your balance on top of the bosu, make sure that your feet are pointing forward and that they are shoulder-width apart, your chest up and face forwards. Flex your knees and lower body and squat down as deep as you can, pause and then come back to starting position. This exercise can be quite challenging depending on your fitness level, but the trick here is to stay focused on your balance and proper posture.
- Wobble board: The wobble board is an exercise tool that promotes balance on its own accord. Similar to the bosu ball, the wobble board is much harder to maintain balance because the flat surface is much greater in circumference than the surface in contact with the group. Try and stand on the flat surface of the wobble board and maintain balance. This exercise is quite fun!