Balance Training for Everyone
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- From the pool, to land, to a chair, these exercises will help you on the path to a more stable you. Scott Larkin, Director of Personal Training at Gainesville Health and Fitness, takes a look at 3 exercises you can do at home and in the gym.
Let’s take a simple test to see how your balance is: Stand on 1 leg without holding onto anything. Normal balance is one minute, less than 30 seconds and you need some balance training.
Balance training should be part of everyone’s program. Athletes want to improve performance and older adults want to prevent the falls. Balance is exceptionally important to older adults in maintaining independence. When you fall, you can break a bone, which can lead to loss of independence and even death.
Let’s look at the reasons why balance training is so important:
- Faster reaction time. This can help you keep yourself upright if you start to fall by putting out an arm quickly to grab something stable.
- Improved coordination. This can directly help prevent falls but can also help you roll rather than crash as you go down.
- More muscle. Stronger and larger muscles can buffer the impact of a fall, providing some protection to bones and joints and will help improve posture.
- Stronger bones. Resistance exercises strengthen bones, and stronger bones are more resistant to fractures.
- Better brain function. Regular exercise helps maintain brain function with age. Clearer thinking may help you avoid situations that increase fall risk.
Balance training is good for people of every age, so get the family involved. Everyone from your preschooler to grandparents can benefit and, because it is so fun, they may not even recognize they are exercising! The best news is that you can start right now—and see improvements quickly!
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