Balance is essential to everyday living. You need good balance to do everything from chores around the house to walking the dog, exercising, standing for extended periods of time and beyond. This is precisely why everyone needs balance training. Proper balance training requires exercises that bolster muscle strength to keep you upright. Muscles in the core and legs are required to maintain proper balance.
There are all sorts of exercises you can do to improve your stability and balance. Some balance exercises are particularly challenging while others are quite straightforward. Something as simple as balancing on one leg for a couple seconds counts as a legitimate balance exercise. However, there are some challenging balance training exercises like certain yoga poses that will put your body to the test.
In some cases, BOSU Balance Trainer or balance boards are used to enhance balance exercises. The BOSU ball has an attached dome that can be inflated on a circular platform to challenge the user's ability to balance. Others opt for the simplest possible balance training such as putting a heel in front of the toe and walking as though on a tightrope. Some simply walk while alternating between knee lifts. Even standing up and subsequently sitting down in a chair without using one's hands qualifies as balance training.
As time progresses, you can enhance balance with such exercises by making slight alterations. Incorporating a challenging pose or movement to your balance training will ramp up the difficulty level. Hold the position for an extra 5-10 seconds to feel the burn that much more. Even closing your eyes in the midst of balance exercises will make it more challenging. In terms of frequency, balances exercises can be done as often as desired. In fact, some opt to do balance exercises each day. Balancing becomes that much easier when balance training is combined with at least a day or two of strength training.
Dynamic balance training focuses on motion. Dynamic balance recovery refers to the dynamic ability to bounce back from a situation lacking balance. Such a situation originally formed due to an unstable environment. The next type of balance training is static balance. One's static ability to recover from a situation that is out of balance is his or her static balance recovery.
The final form of balance training is dynamic/static counterbalance. This refers to one's ability to counteract a force or weight of equal strength while still maintaining/recovering balance. This action is also referred to as Perturbation Training. Above all, each type of balance training must be performed with the same fully body motion type and equipment within a destabilized space. Otherwise, it will not prove as effective as it should.
The Appeal of Balance Training
Part of the reason why balance training is en vogue is everyone can do it. Balance training enhances more than balance. It bolsters overall health and mental strength to boot. Balance is especially important for those looking to engage in more advanced physical fitness challenges. Begin with a series of easy balance exercises, gradually progress toward more difficult challenges and it won't be long until you are ready to compete at a high level.
Do not feel bad if you feel as though you have to lean on the wall or a chair when first engaging in balance exercises. There is no shame is using such a form of assistance at the start of your balance training regimen. Relying on support across the long haul is better than not participating in the first place.
Balance Training and Health Conditions
Those who have back pain find balance training is one of the best means to bolster core strength and consequently reduce pain. Those who are attempting to recover from a back injury should consult with their doctor before engaging in balance training. Furthermore, balance training will bolster muscle strength, reduce arthritis and provide additional support to the pain-laden joints. It might be necessary to alter or skip specific moves in order to reduce pressure.
Balance training is the perfect place to start and has proven beneficial for everyone from diabetics to those with heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It all starts with a focus on the core. You will eventually progress to the point at which balance training provides a full aerobic workout that helps control your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
Additional Resources: BOSU Balance Trainer Guide