Why is Balance as ability important and how to train it?
Training for balance is one of the most important aspects of fitness. Together with strength, flexibility, and cardio, balance is also an ability that you have to hone if you want to stay fit and healthy. It is a physical ability which supports all of your movements in daily life and any kind of sportive or leisure activity and helps to prevent from fall-related injuries in seniors. During running, a good balance, besides a good movement pattern, is also a key to reducing ankle injuries and plays a huge role in almost everything you have to do every day, even as simple actions as walking, leaning over to tie the laces of your shoes, and standing up after prolonged sitting.
The good news is that it is not that hard to train for balance. You do not even need any gym equipment for it. Here are just some of the simple tips and exercises you can do to train your balance and hone it as an ability:
Stand using just one leg
Every chance you get, try to stand only with one leg. Do this simple exercise when you are doing a task, like when washing dishes. Practice holding this position for half a minute per side. If you can already do that, then stand on one leg on a surface that is less stable, like a cushion. Challenge yourself by adding more variations to this simple exercise.
Practice tai chi
Taking up regular tai chi classes can also help improve your balance and stability. This activity can even help significantly reduce the risk of fall injuries in the elderly. You may also want to try doing yoga or taking up dance classes as an alternative to tai chi.
Squats should also be part of your regular exercises if you want to improve your balance. With squats, you can make your legs sturdier and more stable, thereby preventing fall injuries. You can do a simple squat if you are still a beginner. Just bend your hips and knees with both your feet hip-width apart. Lower yourself gradually. Make sure to straighten your arms and keep your back and abs tight and your knees over your shoelaces when squatting. Stop once your thighs get parallel to the floor. Contract your glue as soon as you stand up again.
Do toe stand exercises
Also referred to as heel raises or calf raises, toe stand is a great exercise for those who want to improve their balance as it can strengthen the muscles in your ankle and calf stronger. It is easy to do, too. Just hold a chair to prevent yourself from falling then stand straight with both your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift yourself in a way that you are in a tiptoe then stay in that position for at least one second before putting it down. Do this for around ten to fifteen times per session.
Aside from the tips and exercises mentioned here, you can find many other exercises that can improve your balance. You can do challenging yoga poses or use certain tools or equipment that forces your body to become more stable, like a balance board. Find exercises that can make your muscles stronger and upright, especially your core and legs. That way, you can train your body for stability, balance, and strength.