Good Balance Helps You Live Longer, Here Are 5 Easy Ways to Improve Stability
Have you ever seen a cat walking gracefully down a narrow ledge and thought to yourself: how do they do it, exactly?
Humans haven’t been blessed with the same balancing skills as felines, but there’s a lot that we can do to improve our stability, which will eventually affect the quality of life.
Activities like walking in a straight line, balancing yourself on a bosu ball, or standing on one foot might sound simple in theory. Still, they can be challenging for those who’re not used to physical activity.
Balance is more than just physical strength; it requires great mental focus too. It builds a connection between your mind and muscles, and comes with some significant advantages such as improved focus and lesser risk of injury during other activities.
You probably don’t see stability-focus exercises on Instagram as much as donkey kicks and ab crunches, but that doesn’t mean that they’re any less important for your overall fitness.
Having good balance reflects positively on your posture when you’re performing other key exercises in the gym, walking around, or even while sitting at your office desk.
Proper balance means that all muscle groups in your body are exerting an equal amount of force to keep you from wobbling around or being clumsy.
An interesting study in 2013 showed how brains of individuals with good balance react differently than their non-balanced counterparts in the event of an accident.
During the experiment, researchers asked participants with a healthy balance to walk in a narrow line on a treadmill while wired to electrodes that measured their brains’ sensory activity.
The results showed that people with good balance are quicker to register any unsteadiness as their brains send immediate signals to the muscles to realign themselves to prevent a fall. In comparison, those with poor balance have a slower reaction time and hence are more prone to accidents.
But improving your balance is a lot easier than you’d think. You can practice some basic stability exercises while going about your daily routine. Some of these include standing on one leg while you’re brushing your teeth, making sure you alternate between both legs every day to improve balance on both sides.
Another way to improve balance is to follow a straight line while walking down the sidewalk or following a particular tile pattern in your house or office.
Balancing yourself on a medicine ball while working in the office or watching tv at home is another excellent way to improve stability. Make sure always to sit upright and keep your core engaged the whole time to prevent your back from being compromised.
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