How To Improve Your Balance
When discussing issues with balance, people tend to think that it is a problem which mainly effects the elderly – and they’d be right. It is estimated that over 800,000 patients per year are injured after a fall and have to be hospitalised. Therefore, it is a good idea to be proactive and seek to improve your sense of balance as you get older, in order to avoid the associated injuries.
Where Do I Start?
The best place to start is by booking yourself in with your local doctor to get a general check up. This is to make sure there are no underlying issues which may be affecting your balance mechanism. Eye problems or vestibular issues in your ears can have an affect on your ability to balance. Once you have been given the all clear from your doctor you are ready to move on to the next step
Exercises To Improve Your Balance
This next section will focus on how to improve your balance through performing specific exercises.
- Building Strength
In order to improve your balance, you should be focusing on the muscles in your lower body. Some great strengthening exercises for the lower body include squats and lunges.
- Shift Your Weight From Side To Side
For this next exercise, keep your knees slightly bent and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Focus on keeping your bodyweight distributed evenly on both legs. From this stance gradually shift your weight to your right leg, leaving the left foot in contact with the floor for balance. Once you have reached this position, try lifting your left foot slightly off the ground and hold that pose for 30 seconds. If you can’t manage 30 seconds, hold it for as long as you can. Next, try the same manoeuvre on the opposite leg.
Repeat this movement up to ten times to develop lower body strength and balance.
- One Leg Balance
Once you have successfully completed the weight shift exercise as described above, you’re ready for a more advanced exercise. You can use a wall or a chair to help you get started with this one. Shifting your weight onto your right leg, focus your gaze on a fixed object a few metres away from you to help you balance. Now bend your left knee and lift your foot off from the ground. Again, try to hold this pose for 30 seconds, trying your hardest to not grab the chair or wall for support. As your balance improves, repeat this exercise up to ten times for each leg.