How’s your balance?
Has it changed in the last few years? Are you a little less stable in some movements and a bit more careful when walking down stairs or in other activities?
The ability for your body to automatically adjust movement to it’s surroundings, decreases with age as those helpful sensory perceptions like sight and hearing start to lessen in efficiency.
When all these systems including your sense of spatial awareness are working together automatically with your musculoskeletal system you can stay active and independent, preventing falls and improving your balance.
Like any other skill, we need to practise and train these senses to maintain functionality and ease of movement.
You’ve heard the expression “use it or lose it”- and that’s what we need to focus on with balance training. When you persistently stick to safe movement and never challenge yourself with different movement patterns, the brain switches off that sensory awareness. We need to work in different planes of movement and use different muscles and challenge our proprioception to keep these sensory skills alive.
It’s never to soon to practise these movements. If you generally struggle with balance or have perhaps have an ongoing ankle injury or weakness or even if you have an older relative or friend who struggles with their balance, share these videos with them and have them practise these simple but effective movements. Here are just two of seven balance drills that feature as bonus workouts in the 20 Minute Anti-Aging Solution for Her program.
Imagine you’re walking a tightrope, with heel to toe walking forward alternating your feet. Repeat this to and fro in whatever room you have available for 60 seconds. Stand tall and maintain your best posture, you may like to keep your arms outstretched for additional balance.
Walk the grapevine. Starting from your left, swing your left foot across the front of you past your right foot and slide right foot back into hip width apart stance. Continue across room for 60 seconds, repeating the other direction for another 60 seconds.
Let’s the repeat the grapevine but this time we’ll cross over the foot behind the other foot. 60 seconds to your left, then 60 seconds to the right.
Regardless of age, think about including different balance exercises in your workouts too. Exercises like:
Alternating reverse lunges
1 leg Romanian deadlifts
Box step ups
Bench tap downs
A little extra attention to balance and strength now will pay serious dividends later.
You’ll see all these balance exercises and drills in the 20 Minute Anti-Aging Solution for Her workouts here.