Exercise for Better Balance

Training your balance doesn't have to take long. Adding just a few minutes of exercise each day to what you already do can help you see results quickly.
Exercise for Better Balance
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) added more recommendations for flexibility, balance, and neuromotor exercise to its 2008 Guidelines (commonly referred to as functional training). Two to three times a week, you should do any kind of exercise that improves your physical function or improves your motor skills, such as balance, agility, coordination, and gait. Balance, strength, and posture are all connected because each one can have a big effect on the other two. Older people often find it harder to keep their balance, especially after they fall or almost fall.

There are many things that can directly affect a person's ability to keep good posture, balance, and walking mechanics (gait). These include the natural process of getting older, physical disability, and the signs and symptoms of many long-term health problems. If you can't keep your balance, you're more likely to fall. Since falls are the most common way for people 60 and older to get hurt, it's important to include balance exercises in your workout routine.

Balance training is meant to teach the body how to respond when its position changes. For example, when you sway from side to side or forward and backward, your brain and central nervous system quickly turn on the muscles that will pull you back to the middle. The more you work on your balance, the better it will be.

Over time, your balance may go down a little bit and you might not even notice it. But if you've noticed changes in your posture, the size and height of your steps when you walk, or if you feel unsteady when you get up and walk, it's likely that your balance systems aren't working as well as they could.

Balance isn't controlled by just one group of muscles. You use all of your muscles in some way. Your brain decides which muscles to use based on what you're doing. This helps you keep your balance or get it back if you lose it.

Training your balance doesn't have to take long. Adding just a few minutes of exercise each day to what you already do can help you see results quickly. First, though, let's talk about how you stand.

Balance exercises are only safe if you have good posture, so a great way to start training your balance is to look at your posture. Here are some tips:

You can change your posture, but it probably took a long time for it to get bad, so it will take some time to get better. Every day, all day long, you should be aware of your posture and use good habits, whether you're driving, walking, sitting on the couch, or even brushing your teeth. Over time, it will become the way your body naturally stands.

In the article for next month, there will be both standing and sitting balance exercises. You have homework to do until then, yes, homework. Always be aware of your posture and sit or stand in the best way for your body. Be the little bird on your own shoulder that tells you to stand up straight.