Yes, there are those who will tell you that you should have more ‘balance’ in your life if you are to be successful. They could be wrong. If you study famous people, discoveries, inventions, sportspeople, businesspeople, artists, musicians even Mother Theresa’s achievements in history, they have been those who put most of their creative efforts and energies into following their passion. Its’ unlikely they had ‘balance’. Whereas ‘balance’ in your body is a different matter altogether.
You would do well to include forms of balance training in your weekly exercise plan. Why? For stability, coordination and to help prevent falls and injuries. By challenging your body’s equilibrium, you enhance your proprioception, strengthen your core muscles (helping to prevent back injury), enjoy better posture and overall functional fitness.
- Your vestibular system, located in your inner ear, plays a crucial role in balance. It detects changes in your head position and movement, helping you to maintain stability and spatial orientation.
- Balance relies on a complex interplay between your sensory system, including visual input, proprioception (awareness of your body position) and the vestibular system. All the more important in sport and skills such as martial arts.
- Balance declines with age with various factors, such as decreased muscle strength, changes in vision, and reduced function of the vestibular system. Regular balance training can help mitigate these.
- Your brain plays a central role in balance control, integrating sensory information and coordinating muscle responses. Neuroplasticity allows your brain to adapt and rewire itself. This facilitates improved balance through training and practice.
- Balance training not only benefits your physical performance, but also your cognitive function. Studies have shown a positive correlation between balance exercises and your cognitive abilities, including attention, memory and executive function. This highlights the intricate connection between physical and mental well-being.
During a talk this week, Greenhithe Chiropractor Craig Buscomb – of the Club Physical Wellness Team shared a surprise recent discovery is that balance training has even been shown to reduce anxiety in children.
Three ways to get you started; Balance training is often included in Club Physicals PILATES and YOGA classes. You could invest in a coaching session with a PERSONAL TRAINER who will show you how you can incorporate balance training into your weight’s routine and/or you could research ideas and tack them on to your stretch routine towards the end of each workout.