Balance and Fall Prevention

Most people do not think of doing balance exercises as part of their fitness routines. Balancing exercises can be incorporated into weight lifting routines as well as your aerobic activates and is a critical part of any well rounded fitness program.

The Basics 
Let me give you one note of caution. When practicing balance work make sure the area around you is empty. Sooner or later everyone falls when practicing balance exercises.

Before trying out one of these devices let’s start with just standing. What we take for granted now can become a challenging task when we get older. Try to stand just on one leg, then try standing with your eyes closed. Harder then you thought?

If you are lifting weights you can incorporate using the physio ball, (also called a Swiss Ball). Try sitting up on the ball while doing your arm curls or shoulder pressing. You can work your hamstrings by lying down on the floor and putting your heels only on top of the ball and try doing a pelvic tilt at the same time.

All stabilizing exercises starts at the ankles. You want to make sure they are flexible and strong. For anyone who has twisted their ankles, you know what I mean. Using a half cylinder try standing on one leg with your foot on the flat part of the cylinder. You will feel your ankle get a great workout and you will be teaching balance to your body.

Devices
There are many devices and techniques to improve your balance. Some of the most popular devices are pyshio balls, half and full cylinders and discs.

Sports
Anyone who participates in sports realizes the benefits of having good balance. Balance affects every aspect of your game. Try any movement off balance in any type of sport and observe the effect: Loss of control, reduction of power, and a greater chance of injury.

Muscles
Having good balance also means having strong muscles. The most important muscles in the lower body for stabilization are your hips and quadriceps (front of the leg) muscles.

Martial Arts
When people think of martial arts they imagine people being thrown around and pieces of wood being smash in half. However Tai Chi is a slow and controlled martial art.  Besides improving your balance, it can help with stress.

The most important physical attribute a one or two year old can have is good balance. As we get older this changes to bones, muscles and aerobic capacity. When a person gets older we revert back to the importance of the ability of balance.  The main objective for good balance is preventing a fall, and all the complications that go with it. The best way to minimize injuries from falling is to practice balancing exercises and strengthening the muscles that support you.

Exercises   To improve your stability, there are a number of ways you can approach this situation. Walking on a balance beam on the floor. If this not realistic for you, try placing a strip of masking tape and walk toe to toe over the tape. Using a half cylinder is a wonderful way to increase your ankle strength and improve your balance. If you are just starting working out you can try standing on one foot at a time. Another technique is to stand with your eyes closed. (It’s harder then you think!) If you do find this to easy then try standing on one leg with your eyes close. It is recommended that for safety reasons you practice techniques by a wall.

To get started on your fitness program call 847-772-3487 or click on the link below to inquiry for more information. Personal Training Information

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