Balance is one major component of fitness along a few others; cardiovascular, stability, strength and flexibility, however it is often overlooked. Balance is required for almost every type of movement and it plays a large role in preventing falls and even potential fall-related injuries regardless of what age we are.
The American College of Sports Medicine classifies balance exercises as functional fitness training and neuromotor exercise and recommends incorporating the training two to three days per week.
Balance training should be easy to incorporate into any workout. Instead of sitting or standing during dumbbell work for example, try it seated on a stability ball. You can increase the difficulty level by lifting one foot off the floor so that you’re required to balance and stabilize your body in an upright position. The same is true using the black or blue side of the Bosu ball. Single-leg work is another great form of balance training.
If these things seem too difficult to do right now, stand on one foot while you brush your teeth, do the dishes, or wait for something in the microwave – count slowly to 10 then switch feet. Once this begins to get easier, try incorporating some more difficult movement such as those listed above. Remember: if you don’t use it, you lose it!
It’s never too late to improve on anything, including your balance!
Lauren Gedemer is a personal trainer at Razor Sharp Fitness. Learn more at razorsharpfit.com.