It’s time for a #TrainingTips post and today we’re talking about balance.
So what is balance first of all?
Balance simply put is a situation where different elements are equal, or in terms of the physical body where we can maintain a line of gravity within our base of support.
Our body is in a constant battle to maintain this balance, why? Because it’s always moving, why? Because we’re always moving.
Since we are constantly changing, moving and adjusting our centre of mass every second of every day to maintain some sort of balance you would of thought we would all be experts at balancing. Ok simple test for you, stand up and balance on one leg and see how long you last and then test your opposite side.
How long did you last?
A recent study doing this very test showed that on average people up to their mid 40s could hit the minute mark. People in their 50s 45 seconds, 60s 40 seconds, 70s 27 seconds and 80s and over it was just 17 seconds. Ever noticed how older people tend to have more falls and as result break hips, arms and anything they land on?
So why the decline in balance?
The major factor in this decline is the steady loss of strength, agility and muscle mass as we age. There are other contributing factors such as flexibility, vision, touch and mental functioning too, but as a job lot all of it can be worked on and improved. Unfortunately people don’t think about doing any type of dedicated balance training until they’ve had a fall or until it’s highlighted as a problem. By which point you’re already in a hole and now you have to try and dig your way out and as you can imagine this is the hardest route traveled.
Simple ways to train balance:
- Static standing on one foot
- Target touching standing on one foot
- Walking heal to toe
- Walking heal to toe with rises and falls
- Using unstable surfaces
- Eyes open or closed
Balance is not just a state of stability at different points within movement, it’s also symmetry between our bodies too. Ever noticed if your shoulders or hips are square and parallel? The chances of perfect symmetry in the body is an ideal that is in reality unattainable, none of us will ever be perfect. But to be as near as we possibly can, we can maximise strength, performance and overall wellness. If we are out of balance in this way it can and will have a huge effect to how we move, how we function, our mental health and our daily pain.
When we are in alignment stability becomes easy.
So what do? Aim to be as mobile as you can, experience all ranges that your body is capable of and work on those imbalances in your body. Maintain your strength as you age and add in some balance training, these could be active rests between sets or part of your warm up or cool down.
Don’t neglect yourself, your body and mind will thank you for it.
Have a great weekend guys.
Stay strong and live, love and laugh!