Good balance is an aspect of fitness that people often don’t appreciate. They typically place a large emphasis on eating a balanced diet or strengthening their muscles in the quest for health, but few focus specifically on enhancing their balance. However, poor balance can have several negative effects on your overall health and well-being. Below, we discuss some helpful tips on how to improve your balance and why it’s important.
Why good balance is important
Perhaps the main reason why good balance is so important is because it makes movement easier and reduces falling—especially among older adults with lower bone mass. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries, and one out of five falls results in a serious injury. In addition to head trauma, other common injuries associated with falls include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and even death. The risks and severity of injuries associated with falls only increase as you age.
Considering the significant risks associated with falls, the importance of strengthening your balance is clear. Improving your balance typically can result in increased body awareness, joint stability, and coordination, which makes is easier for you to move around throughout the day without injuring yourself.
Ways to improve your balance
When you don’t actively practice balance, it deteriorates. As such, your balance typically decreases over time as you age—especially if you live a more sedentary lifestyle. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve balance without substantial effort. Examples of ways to improve your balance are as follows:
- Use a standing desk balance board while working instead of a chair.
- Practice yoga, which centers largely around strengthening balance and stability.
- Do exercises that strengthen core muscles in the abdomen and back, which will improve your posture and make it easier for you to balance.
- Incorporate balance disks and balance balls into your exercise routine.
- Practice standing on each foot for 20 to 30 seconds at a time.