Balance

The ability to keep your balance is important whether standing still or moving as it helps prevent falls and injuries from occurring.

Why Does Balance Degrade Over Time?

The simple reason is that balance is not inherent, but rather a learned skill which means that it needs to be worked on from time to time so that the brain and the muscles can maintain optimal level of performance. Balance is learned in the early years of development and children constantly challenge these skills as they play, be it hopscotch, jumping from rock to rock across a path, and balance while doing things that are not perhaps as safe as they could be.  As we age, we simply get better at keeping ourselves safe, and therefore we use the muscles that help stabilize the body and the associated brain connections less, therefore they become less sharp, and less available when we need them.

How Balance Works the Brain

Balance training fundamentally means reinforcing the lessons learned as a toddler when you first started walking and firing off the neurons so that it improves brain function. Balance works the brain in a way that requires the cognitive process to activate so you can keep steady when walking, jogging, riding a bike, and any activity that requires maintaining proper balance.

Why Balance Training is Important

There are several reasons why balance training is important, starting with improving coordination. Because the muscles of your body must work together to maintain proper balance, it improves the coordination. However, this is only the start in why balance is so important to the body and mind.

  • Greater Body Awareness
  • Improved Reaction Time
  • Better Stability for the Joints
  • Long Term Health and Wellbeing

Because you are working more muscles of the body, you become more aware of what they can accomplish. You can feel this after a balance-oriented workout when muscles that may not have been used in a long time are suddenly activated. Adding more awareness to the muscles that control your body means greater reaction time as the mind activates more resources when moving from one place to another.

The emphasis on balance training also means fewer injuries, such as sprained ankles or knee issues that are often caused by trips and falls that might have been prevented if the sense of balance is better. Finally, over the long term having good balance means better long-term health and wellbeing.

For these reasons and more, balance training should be a part of your workout routine. Balance exercises only take a few minutes of time to complete, and by periodically challenging yourself in this way can help you to maintain optimal balance for a long time to come.