In my high school and college biology classes, I remember learning about the circulatory, nervous, respiratory, digestive and other systems of the body. But it wasn’t until I later studied to become a personal trainer, that I discovered another important system, the balance system.
Balance is how we remain upright during the day, prevent ourselves from falling, etc. There are people who have always had an active lifestyle encompassing dance and/or sports that work their balance system without even knowing it. There are others who through years of being sedentary have trouble with balance and struggle with simple “life skills” such as climbing steps or getting in and out of the car. Those like my former self, struggle with balance due to being overweight or obese.
If you struggle with balance it is never too late to start. No matter what your age or lifestyle simple balance exercises, such as holding onto the back of chair lightly while lifting up one leg can help. When you stand on one leg you are shifting your center of gravity. Core muscles and strength kicks in to play an important role in keeping you balanced. Your core is your body’s powerhouse and can help you remain stable and catch you as slip on wet leaves, winter snow, etc.
Besides the resistance ball which I’ve also covered extensively in a separate article, there are a number of other balance tools out there. One of my favorites is the Reebok Core Board. You can take that same one-legged balance exercise above and progress it to the Reebok Core Board. Due to the unstable surface created by the core-board you increase your core muscle and increase your ability to balance.
The core board shifts front, back and side to side creating that unstable surface like a wobble board and is a good way to work on balance. Throughout my time as a trainer, I have been in the company of many professional athletes who trained at the facilities where I worked. I can remember when The Lakers were in town to play they brought in an entourage of stability equipment and trainers.