The Importance of Good Balance
How would you rate your balance and/or ability to regain it in an emergency or while performing daily activities? Do you feel confident when you walk outside the home or go up and down stairs?
Balance literally impacts your quality of life. If you are afraid of falling, you risk missing out on things that you enjoy due to the fear. Good balance is also important for your safety — and as you age, affects your ability to live independently.
This past weekend, Matthew and I were blessed enough to be able to watch the Blue Angels from the small island we live on. It reminded me of the year we watched them perform from a boat in the middle of the bay.
What I’m about to share next is the important part of the story.
Training Your Brain
Some of the guests on the boat were retirement age. I watched them on the boat and noticed that they had great balance. When we would hit a strong wave, they would regain their balance easily. No one ever fell!
It was a great example of how a recreational sport helped them continually train a necessary daily function. You see, they spend time on boats, and by doing so, they are constantly stimulating their nervous systems and training their muscles to react quickly. So by having fun they were also improving their balance.
Not sure if you’ve got good balance? Use a simple test. Try standing on one foot and counting to 10 (make sure you have something to hold on to if necessary). See what happens. If you can’t hold it for the full 10 seconds, you’ll want to improve your balance. The good news is, it’s easy!
It’s Never Too Late to Regain Good Balance
All it takes is adding some balance training a few minutes a day. I’ve helped many clients overcome poor balance and fear of falling in their senior years.
If you haven’t been doing any balance work, you will want to start slowly for safety reasons. Try standing on a pillow on one foot. Remember to have something to hold on to if necessary, and make sure there is nothing sharp around you that you could fall on.
You will be surprised at how well your nervous system responds with some repetition! A 60 year old can have the balance of a 40 year old by keeping consistent with balance training.
If you know you have great balance then make sure you preserve it. Engage in activities that require you to move in different directions and challenge your stability. This will keep your nervous system trained for life!
Have a favorite balance exercise or a question? Please leave a comment below! I enjoy hearing from you!
Blessings to you and yours!