The Importance Of Maintaining Good Balance
Posted by Nancy on June 15, 2011
Good balance is one of the many things that we tend to take for granted. Most of us naturally assume that we will always retain this ability and don’t really give the matter much thought. The truth, however, is that our balance tends to diminish throughout our lifetime, especially if we don’t take any steps to reverse this trend. The steady steps and quick leaps we took when we were young tend to deteriorate into wobbles and weaves and mis-steps in our middle-age and that instability can lead to serious injury.
It is a fact that our bodies lose about one percent of muscle mass and significant bone mass each year after middle age. This, coupled with the deterioration of vision can lead to diminished quality of life. The good news is that one does not have to stand by idly and allow these undesirable affects of aging to take control. There are things that can be done that will make a considerable difference in how well our bodies maintain good function, including good balance.
One of the very best things we can do for ourselves is to keep moving. Hours upon hours of sitting around can be extremely detrimental to our over-all well being. Incorporate physicality into every activity possible. Challenge your muscles by doing things that aren’t necessarily comfortable or easy for you to accomplish. Balance training involves the core muscles of the body, particularly the abdominals and the obliques. Maintaining strength in the leg muscles is also critical for good balance. Weight training is an excellent way to maintain muscle strength and endurance.
While gyms have excellent equipment for improving strength and fitness, it is not absolutely necessary to go to a gym in order to gain the desired benefits. Many activities can be done at home that will result in significant improvement. Certain exercises that are especially helpful in maintaining core strength (and balance) such as squats and lunges can be done just about anywhere. Yoga and Pilates are other forms of exercise that can be done at home and involve movements that require muscle concentration which also help to improve balance. Another exercise that is often done at home is boxing. Boxing is an increasingly popular acitivity that contributes to body strength, stamina and muscle control. The important thing is to just keep challenging your body and working to keep it strong and agile.