Having good balance means being able to control and maintain your body’s position, whether you are moving or remaining still. An intact sense of balance helps you stay vertical and…
• walk without staggering
• get up from a chair without falling
• climb stairs without tripping
• bend over without falling
In order to maintain your body’s most centered position, multiple systems in the body need to be working efficiently. Visual, vestibular (inner ear), somatosensory (body’s position in space), proprioception (determines balance in relation to gravity), skeletal (bones) and joints all play a role.
Good balance is important to help you get around, stay independent and carry out daily activities. In a recent New York Times article, “Bracing for the Falls of an Aging Nation”, author Katie Hafner shares interviews with seniors and their experiences with living environments and the hazards of falling.
Regular exercising focused on balance can help prevent falls. Here’s a very straightforward exercise to help you begin:
• Focus on your center of gravity over your ankles.
• Stand behind a chair with both hands on the chair.
• Balance for a few seconds on each foot. Then try this with only one hand on the chair, then with one finger.
• Once comfortable, let go of the chair for a few seconds at a time.
• Look up from your feet when balancing and pick a spot at eye level in front of you to improve.
• Lift your chest and bring your shoulders back.
• Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Read more about the importance of balance.
In addition to exercising, you will need to practice good posture and improve your core strength. For more information or lessons on how to reach your balance and fitness goals, visit our website at www.lorimichielfitness.com, call us at 818-620-1442 or email us.