Check Your Balance

As you are going about your normal day, do you find yourself occasionally catching your balance, or bobbling here and there in ways that you perhaps didn’t before? Balance is intricately tied in with a solid and strong core. If you feel you don’t have quite the balance you used to have, it is likely that your core is also not what it used to be.

For anyone over the age of 30, your balance starts to wane in barely noticeable ways, then really speeds up once you hit your 50’s and 60’s. While those years may be a ways off for many of you, that is no reason to take your core and your balance for granted.

If you understand the factors that affect balance, then you can learn what you can to minimize balance issues and even re-gain lost balance.

Balance involves the relationship between your inner ear, your vision, and the muscles and joints from your feet all the way up your spine. Your brain processes the information that is transmitted from each of these areas and in turn transmits this information needed for your muscles and joints to manage balance. When all three are working well, you have a good sense of your spatial positioning

The various seasons of life can potentially cause loss of muscle mass, fading eyesight, and the decline of inner ear functioning. These seasons can be normal aging, pregnancy and childbirth, and injuries. When one or all of these areas are degenerating, your brain signals are thrown off and balance is adversely affected. Of course in our 30’s and 40’s, this loss is so slight that it is not usually noticed, but it is occurring.

It stands to reason that improving muscle mass and practicing balance exercises can not only arrest further balance loss, but even re-gain levels of balance already sacrificed.

The best place to start to re-gain or prevent loss of strength and balance is the quadriceps or thigh muscle. Daily squats and balance exercises can all make a significant difference to your balance.

General strength training helps to maintain Type II muscle fibers, the muscles that are needed to help us shift our weight to prevent falls.

Here are some great foundational balance exercises to get you on the road to re-gaining loss balance.

  1. Any core building exercises such as planks and bridging.
  2. General weight training or resistance-band workouts.
  3. Walking with one foot directly in front of the other and standing on one foot are two exercises that can be done daily while brushing your teeth!
  4. Bosu ball exercises to build dynamic balance.

Maintaining and building balance opens up endless possibilities of activities and adventures now and in your future. Keep working on that balance!