Why do you need to do balancing exercises?
“No matter how much it gets abused, the body can restore balance.” – Deepak Chopra, American self-help author
Slipping or bumping into an obstacle and falling down could happen anytime. But are you doing anything to avoid these accidents? It’s time to stop blaming poor pedestrian paths or lighting. Care about yourself and keep your balance intact at all times. Perform balance exercises to prevent possibly hazardous falls.
There are 7 risk factors that lead to falls, which include poor eyesight, weakness of the hip muscles and leg muscles, postures that are not vertical, feet that cannot be raised off the ground, late reaction to stimulation, medications, and low blood pressure. 5 elements play a very important role in balance. These include the brain, skeletal muscles, bones and joints, eyes, and the inner ears.
As individuals get older, they tend to limit their postures and movements to those which are the safest as that gives them confidence, i.e. the posture of getting ready for a tennis ball involves standing with knees bent and a crooked back. Additionally, both hands are placed at belt level with caution. This posture causes the brain to lose the opportunity to practice a challenge, which causes imbalance.
Balancing exercises involve challenging and forcing the brain to use the five elements of balance simultaneously. There are 3 principles governing them:
There are 3 principles governing them:
The sets that we’ve provided below are just examples. You can further work on your balance through specific exercises that suit you. Leather dance shoes are ideal for practice, but if you do not have them you could wear any pair of comfortable shoes.
1. One leg stand
Begin with standing with your feet together, bend one knee and raise that leg and then stand on one foot. Focus on one side at a time.
2. Eye tracking
Stand straight with a straight head, extend your arm fully in front of your face with your thumbs up.
Move your thumb to the left until the end of your arm's length and try look at your thumb with your eyes without turning your head and keeping the head straight.
Then move your thumb to the right until the end of your arm's length and look at the thumb without turning your head and keeping it straight. Repeat the process several times..
3. Clock reach
Stand straight as if you stand on a big clock, raise one leg, and stand on the other. Then extend both your arms fully sideways to the left and the right at shoulder level and look straight.
Then, slowly turn your body and arms while your head and neck are steady to bring your left arm to 12 o'clock and your right arm to 6 o'clock and vice versa.
Turn your body to bring your arms to other numbers of the clock as you want, by switching to the other leg.
4. Staggered stance
Stand on a straight line which is a line from the front to back, as you suppose, or a timber or a plank. Put your left toe behind the right heel and alternate it by putting the other foot in front.
5. Heel to toe
Stand on a straight line or a timber or a plank, extend your arms sideways, look straight-ahead.
Step forward placing your left heel directly in front of your right toes and do the same with your right heel and step continuously until you walk to the end of the timber or plank.
Then walk back until the end of the timber or plank..
6. Just walk
Stand on a timber with your body straight, put a cup of coffee on your head and look straight ahead. Walk on the timber with a natural swing of the arm.
7. Knee marching
March on a timber by raising one knee high at the hip level. Swing your arms high at the level of your shoulders and walk until the end of the timber.
8. Single limb with arm
Stand on a timber; put your toes of either of the legs behind the other heel. Start with your left foot first, keep your body straight, look straight ahead and raise your right hand along with the right knee.
It should be as if a soldier is marching, only difference being that they raise their opposite hand. Walk forward like this by taking alternate turns.
Stand straight on a timber, keep your chest straight, extend your head, turn to one side, and keep it parallel to the timber line.
Walk to the left by crossing your right leg behind your left leg. Walk continuously until the end of the timber and then walk back.
10. Body circle
Stand on a timber or the floor; put both your arms sideways. Slowly sway in a circle as if you are drunk. Try to pretend to fall and sustain yourself to prevent that fall.
11. Dynamic walking
Walk on a timber, keep your head straight and look straight ahead while slowly turning your head by looking from the left shoulder to the right shoulder. Then, look back from the right to the left while walking without losing pace. Move your head and neck as if you are reading a book while walking.
Walk with a high raised knee to sidestep over an object or a stump placed apart without losing pace.
13. Balancing wand
Stand on a timber, hold a wand in palm of the hand, bend your knees, focus at the top of the wand, and begin by balancing it upright through stepping on the same place.
Then walk on the timber towards and backwards, and cross your one leg behind the other leg like the grapevine set without the wand falling from your palm.
After having explored multiple ways to improve balance and safety under Balance Exercises, our next section focuses on aerobic exercises. The segment highlights all the elements that make this form of physical activity an essential inclusion in your workout regime.