Ever say this sort of stuff?
"I had a close call where I almost fell getting out of the cab. I don't want that to happen again."
"I find it hard to stand on one foot when putting on shoes or socks. This shouldn’t be so difficult."
"When traveling, I don't feel comfortable walking on cobbled streets or climbing stairs without railing. I miss out on some adventures."
Whether these scenarios sound familiar, or you're just thinking about what's ahead, you've landed in the right spot.
In this post, we're going to tackle all those balance-related worries & show you exercise to improve balance.
Even if you're feeling steady today, these exercises can help. No matter, if you're nearing retirement or just hosted your 30th birthday party, adding balance exercises to your routine is a good idea.
Balance isn't only about fixing wobbles. It's about prepping for all of life's adventures, big and small. And if you're looking to give your workouts an edge, balance exercises can help there too.
Balance is all about control. It's our body's way of staying upright and centered, whether we're sitting, standing, or moving around.
To achieve this, 3 systems in our body work together seamlessly:
👀 The sensory system: This includes our eyes, muscles, and joints. Our eyes help us see our surroundings and navigate. Our muscles and joints sense where parts of our body are and how they're moving.
👂 The inner ear: Inside our ears are tiny organs that detect any changes in our head's position or movements we make. This is our body's internal level or balance system.
🧠 The brain: Think of the brain as the command center. It gets signals from the eyes, muscles, joints, and inner ear, then quickly decides how we should move or adjust to stay balanced.
When we work on our balance through exercises, we're not just strengthening muscles. We're also training our sensory system, inner ear, and brain to communicate better and faster.
Remember this information when you might hop onto a balance exercise and think, "Well, I'm not drenched in sweat, so is this really doing anything?"
Because the answer is — absolutely yes!
👉 Balance exercises might not always give you that high-intensity workout feeling. They're all about training the intricate systems that keep us upright and steady. It's less about burning calories and more about creating harmony between our eyes, muscles, ears, and brain.
Every time you challenge your balance, you're strengthening those intricate connections in your body, even if you're not out of breath or feeling the burn.
In this section, we've listed down 7 exercises to improve balance.
Each exercise starts with a beginner variation. If you're new to balance training or just getting back into the groove, this is your starting point. As you get comfortable and crave a bit more challenge, we've outlined intermediate and advanced versions to kick things up a notch.
Equipment: A sturdy box or step platform.
Equipment: None to start, dumbbells or a barbell for added resistance.
Equipment: None to start, dumbbells or a barbell for added resistance.
Equipment: A mat for comfort.
Here's a slight variation of this:
Equipment: Dumbbell or kettlebell.
Equipment: None, or a wall for support.
Equipment: A sturdy chair.
If you're looking for a quick 3-minute workout check out this video by Clark.
Now, a question many people have is, "How do I know when it's time to level up?"
📓 Here's a quick guide:
Progress is individual.
Some might race through the beginner stage in a few days, while others might revel in it for a couple of weeks. The key is to listen to your body, trust your intuition, and enjoy the journey of enhancing your balance.
The warm-ups are designed to prep the body, enhancing proprioception (the sense of self-movement and body position), and the cool-down exercises will help relax and stretch the muscles you've been working on.
1. Ankle Rolls:
2. Side-to-Side Weight Shifts:
3. Gentle Twists:
1. Standing Cat-Cow Stretch:
2. Calf Stretch:
3. Standing Quad Stretch:
You might be surprised at how many regular tasks around the home can be transformed into balance-boosting exercises. You can add tiny tweaks to daily routines, making them not just chores but opportunities to improve stability.
Ever tried doing it standing on one foot?
It might seem odd at first, but it's a fantastic way to challenge your balance. Just be sure to switch feet halfway through to give both legs a workout.
Putting on socks or shoes?
Use it as an opportunity to test your balance. See if you can stand on one foot as you slip into them, rather than sitting down.
While your gourmet coffee brews in the morning, stand on tiptoes for a few seconds, then rock back on your heels. It’s a discreet calf workout and balance booster in one.
Walk heel-to-toe in a straight line while talking on your phone. This tightrope-walker style of walking can greatly enhance stability.
During those audio-only conference calls or when your virtual meetings don't require video, try standing on one leg.
Switch legs every 5 minutes. Not only does this help improve balance, but it's also a neat trick to combat the fatigue of prolonged sitting.
If you're in a multi-story office building or reside in a posh high-rise, those fleeting moments waiting for or inside an elevator can be productive.
Engage in some calf raises, lifting your heels off the ground, or balance on one foot for a little challenge.
Airports, with their inherent waiting periods, offer a splendid chance for some balance exercises.
As you wait in line or for your flight, subtly shift your weight from one leg to another or rise onto your tiptoes for a bit.
As you peruse the latest financial data or skim the morning headlines, try a balancing act.
Squat down as though there's an elegant chair behind you and hold that posture for a few seconds. It’s a little exercise with significant benefits.
Integrating these small adjustments doesn’t take much. But collectively, they can have a significant impact on maintaining and improving your balance. Make the most of your dialy moments, no matter how ordinary they seem.
While practicing exercises is an essential way to improve balance, what we fuel our body with can make a significant difference too.
✨ That's where 'Complete 365' steps in - recognized as the World's #1 ALL-IN-ONE Multivitamin System tailored for both men and women over 40.
Just as our muscles and bones need the right nutrients to function optimally, our nervous system, which plays a pivotal role in maintaining balance, thrives when it's well-nourished.
Complete 365 isn't a generic pill. Your key vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and probiotics are picked based on your blood work. The cost of the complete blood work is covered as well.
It's truly customized to your unique needs, ensuring you're not just taking a supplement but the RIGHT supplement for YOU. Check it out here and partner your balance exercises with nutrition that truly understands and supports you.
Incorporating balance exercises into your daily routine is not just about preventing falls or improving athletic performance; it's about investing in the longevity and quality of your life.
Now that you're equipped with these effective exercises, why not start your journey to improve your balance?
You don't have to start with all seven exercises today. Pick 2-3 of your favorites and start there. And if you're looking for a structured approach, the weekly routine provided above is a perfect roadmap.
Begin by blocking out a dedicated time slot in your calendar or setting a reminder. This not only ensures you're committing to the exercises but also makes it a regular fixture in your routine.
Start by setting small, achievable goals. Maybe it's mastering the beginner level of each exercise or dedicating 10 minutes every day to practice.
As you progress, celebrate those wins, no matter how minor they seem. Share your journey with friends or family, encouraging them to start on this balance-enhancing path with you.