Wednesday, 19 April 2017 00:00

Improving Your Balance for Better Overall Wellness

Do you know if your balance is good or not? It is something the majority of us take for granted. Unless you lose your balance, the majority of us don’t tend to think about it at all. In fact, the only time we consciously think about it is likely when we are watching some sort of death-defying circus stunt.

However, maintaining good balance is a more important activity than you might think. This becomes increasingly clear as we age. That said, activities such a yoga, which help to promote better balance, are far from being restricted only to seniors. In fact, the earlier we start doing exercises that will help our balance, the easier it will be to keep it throughout our lives. This not only helps to make it easier to remain mobile and therefore independent, but it also greatly reduces the risk of injuries from bumps and falls.

How do you know whether or not your balance is good? There are a few tests that you can try for yourself to get an idea. That said, if you want to know for certain, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor. There are a few tests that can be done quickly and easily to let you know for sure if your balance is good, particularly considering your current age and fitness level.

Still, to get a bit of an idea on your own, try the following dynamic balance tests you can do at home:

  • Jumping (Bounds) – Begin on one leg and jump forward a short distance. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds with solid balance then jump backward about the same distance. Count the number of times you can complete this full movement before you lose your balance. Keep in mind that the landing is the key to keeping your balance for longer. Next, try it on the other leg. When you feel that you’ve got the forward-backward bounds under control, try jumping side to side in the same way on each leg for as long as you can.
  • Single-leg squats and balance – This is pretty much what it sounds like. Begin standing on one leg, holding the other with your knee held up toward your chest for as long as you can. Time yourself. Aim to try to balance this way for at least thirty seconds on each leg.
  • Handstands – This isn’t within the comfort zone of most people. That said, consider yourself a champ if you can do a handstand, free-standing, for five seconds or more. Otherwise, begin by pushing yourself off the ground and leaning against the wall with your feet for thirty seconds. Practice so that you build your skill over time. Even while you’re leaning against the wall, you will be better acquainting yourself with your own balance, allowing you to improve.

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