Beginning around the fourth decade, we start to lose a small percentage of the ability to keep our equilibrium . Losing your balance leads to falls and possible fractures, or other injuries if not prevented.
Prevention begins with daily practice. Standing on one foot or with heel to toe for multiple seconds at a time (60-120) will help stave off this decline in balance. Leaning toward the floor on one leg with arms to the side or rear will change the center of gravity and will change the feel of the exercise. In each instance it is important to have the ability to catch yourself on something solid to prevent a dangerous fall from happening in the event you do lose your balance while doing these.
Balance is critical to our daily living activities. Without balance, we would be constantly reaching and grasping for stable objects to prevent falling, stumbling or injuring ourselves.
Here are several variations of a basic exercise to help develop and maintain your sense of balance. Once you are able to do one exercise example for up to one minute without movement, then progress to the next example.
Make certain you are standing near a sturdy chair, or wall, to help catch your balance, if need be, in the following sequences of movement.
• Stand with your feet touching one another in a side by side or heel to toe fashion.
• Hold your hands at your side and close your eyes.
• Maintain this position, without swaying side to side or backward to front, for several seconds up to one minute.
• Assume the same position with your feet as the basic example above.
• Move your arms to the sides in a random fashion, still maintaining your balance.
• Tip your head back and continue to move your arms.
• Now close your eyes and continue the arm movements.
• Maintain the feet in the same pattern, side to side or heel to toe.
• Reach down to the front, side and the rear with one arm then the other.
• See how far you can reach down before losing your balance.
• Remember to keep your feet together and don’t sway as you reach, just reach, keep your balance and then reach in another direction.
• Keep the feet in the same position as the rest of the examples.
• Tip your head back and now close your eyes.
• Move your arms in a random fashion, one arm at a time.
More advanced example:
• Feet are still in the side-by-side or heel to toe position.
• Head tipped back and eyes closed.
• Lift one leg off the floor and maintain your balance for 10-15 seconds, gradually build up your ability to remain in one position without moving about to stay upright.
Another advanced example:
• Set up is the same as the more advanced example with the simple change now of adding the reaches as mentioned in the intermediate example.
• Or you can move your head from side to side in a rapid manner while maintaining your balance.
Have fun practicing these few sample exercises, they will keep your life more balanced!
Of course there are many other ways to practice balance training but this article is not being written to list them all. Suffice it to say balance is a critical part of living a healthy life.