07 Dec Building Balance – An Excellent Way To Enhance Your Fitness
The Ironman, Crossfit Games, or maybe Mr. & Ms. Olympia competitions evoke the thought of what strength and fitness are supposed to be. And though they do take a great deal of training and hard work, as important as many of the abilities showcased on these platforms are, the relationship we have with our balance is equally important. In order to execute properly any of our favorite fitness routines, and fundamentally, any of the movements we do daily, including walking or sitting, our relationship with gravity is in play. When balancing, we’re not just engaging the often-neglected stabilizer muscles; we’re also improving our joint stability and internal focus. In the athletic world, balance is the ability to control your body’s position, whether stationary (i.e. a complex yoga pose) or while moving (e.g. skiing).
When we consider what balance involves, we can begin to appreciate why improving it is crucial to our overall fitness regime. To have balance, intricate coordination of shifting elements is occurring in our brain. Our capability to see with our eyes, to move, our proprioception, and our vestibular system (structure of organs in our inner ear) all are contributing to the ability to stand up straight. Our proprioception, also called kinesthesia, is the sense through which we perceive the position and movement of our body, it encompasses a complex of sensations, including the perception of joint position and movement, muscle force, and effort. These sensations emerge from signals from sensory receptors in our muscles, skin, and joints and will work with how we control our movements, while the vestibular system is the stabilizer so we don’t lean too far in any direction. Balance is really what will help to execute properly any specialized and concentrated movement meant within your workouts. Working on balance needs to be constant, since our receptors, including our vision, will change with the passing of the years.
Grasping the value of working consistently on our balance, here are four simple exercises you can perform almost anymore to improve your balance and yield greater performance in your fitness programs.
As you brush your teeth, stand on one leg
Make the most of that daily habit by improving your balance. While you are in front of the mirror stay as straight as possible and lift one leg as you brush away. By making your brain perform multiple tasks at once, you are fully engaging the communication of your body’s receptors and training your body to balance.
Walk around barefoot
As you walk across your home from carpet to tile, or possibly hardwood floors, your training your proprioception. Your feet receptors are reacting to the constant change in different surfaces that it encounters.
Lifting your Heels
This is another great test for your proprioceptors. Just stand up and practice lifting onto the balls of your feet so that your heels hover right off the ground about 10 times. Get a little music on and you can even dance to it.
Take a Yoga Class
With everything going virtual, it is easy to find a class that you can incorporate in whatever time slot you may have. Strength, flexibility, mobility, and balance are the fundamentals of yoga. So as you incorporate these different positions into your workouts, you will certainly find an excellent source of perfecting your balance.