Did you know that almost every activity we perform requires good balance? Balance basically provides our body with the support it needs during movement. The necessity for this ability in your daily life is undeniable, regardless of the level of your fitness routine or sports. Some experts also relate balance with an individual’s reaction time, which is an essential component for both fitness and sports.
As you get to improve your reaction time through balance training, you are also less likely to suffer from injuries. In fact, it can help boost your overall athletic performance. Whether you’re an athlete or just someone who wants to be more active, here are some tips to help you with your balance training and postural balance.
1. Consider physical therapy
Physical therapy is a popular alternative treatment for individuals who have balancing problems, and not just for improving flexibility and core strengthening. Physical therapists are also experts in body movement, which means that they can also help restore or improve functional mobility. Such treatment is beneficial for individuals with neurological conditions like stroke and need treatment for balance impairments, people who had surgeries or with vertigo, and athletes who suffer from injuries.
Among the best types of physical therapy is advanced cupping therapy, which isn’t just helpful for strengthening core and mobility but also relieving pain. This particular treatment is ideal for restoring your balance and performance and getting you back on your feet following an injury or stroke. Still, we recommend talking to a physical therapist to determine the best methods for your condition.
2. Try doing Pilates
Among the best methods to strengthen your core is Pilates. This is actually considered to be a balance exercise that primarily focuses on flexibility, stability, breathing, posture, and strength. As a matter of fact, many older adults use Pilates to prevent falls, which is pretty common as we age. Some studies also found that apart from standing poses, non-standing Pilates routines are also beneficial for balance.
Overall, this fitness method is a promising way to boost your muscle strength and coordination and reduce the risk of falls and injury. Other benefits that Pilates can offer include improved flexibility, reduced lower back pain, and greater core strength. The Pilates exercises that are best for improving balance include the corkscrew, the saw, swimming, and the bicycle.
3. Take yoga classes
Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or have been taking yoga workshops or classes for years now, this fitness and holistic practice is also beneficial for improving balance. Professionals recommend focusing on easy yoga poses that are designed to target your breathing and alignment. Practicing yoga can help you improve your sensory awareness or proprioception and teach you how to distribute your weight between the toes and spread those toes.
Balancing on your feet is often hard since you’re used to wearing shoes, making it hard for you to connect to sensations. With yoga poses, you can learn to create a mindful connection and use your hands, arms, shoulders for weight-bearing. Some popular poses for building better balance include mountain-chair-tree flow, chair pose, big toe-crescent-eagle flow, tree pose, down dog-lunge-warrior flow, twisting lunge, and croc hops.
4. Get into dancing
Another proven physical activity that can help improve a person’s balance is dancing. This form of exercise is found to be highly beneficial for gaining better control of the body and helping you stabilize. And since it requires good posture and tons of fast sustained movements, which are excellent for flexibility and balance. This is also a fun alternative if a yoga class or Pilates is not your speed.
The best thing is, you can improve your balance and flexibility regardless of the form or type of class you take. You can try ballet classes or ballroom dance with a friend. Or, if you are into a more fast-paced style, you can learn dances such as hip-hop, tap, or contemporary. These types of dances require quicker feet movements and often include varieties of whole-body exhibitions. For example, contemporary dancers are required to focus on moving on and off balance and momentum and gravity.
Whether you’re just walking to engaging in an active sport, having a good balance is essential. It effectively prevents falls and injuries and helps stroke patients and older adults still engage in physical activities. While a fragile balance is generally normal, keep in mind that it’s still recommended consulting an experienced physician to identify if this is actually associated with any medical problem.