AUTHOR:
Kim C.

DATE:
May 26, 2015

CATEGORIES:
Healthy Life

READING TIME:
2 minutes

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The Importance of Balance

AUTHOR:
Kim C.

DATE:
May 26, 2015

CATEGORIES:
Healthy Life

READING TIME:
2 minutes

Have you ever tripped over your own feet? It is not just embarrassing, but it can be damaging as well. Falls often occur due to lack of balance, especially as you age. It is important to start balance training early on and continue throughout your life to help prevent falls and the injuries that can occur as a result. Having good physical balance can improve your ability to exercise, perform in sports, and even be more productive in the workplace.

The best foundation for having good balance is good posture, which keeps your body in alignment and makes it easier to preserve your center of gravity and base of support.

Good posture requires maintaining a long, straight spine (keep in mind that your neck is part of your spine), head held up, shoulders pulled back, and chest lifted. Yoga classes can help if you struggle with good posture, or you can seek advice from a trainer or physical therapist.

Once you have mastered maintaining good posture while standing and moving, you are ready to train your balance with a few simple exercises.

Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. While standing still, perform balance-building movements one arm at a time – with or without weights – to challenge your balance. Examples of balance building movements would be doing bicep curls one arm at a time or holding one weight and passing it from side to side in front of you or over your head.

Once you feel stable performing these movements, increase the difficulty by turning your head side to side or up and down. If you master that, increase the challenge again by repeating the steps with your eyes closed.

The next progression in training your balance is to stand in a staggered stance – with one leg in front of the other – and perform the previous sequence of challenges. After that, take your staggered stance down into a lunge and repeat.

Next, try standing on just one foot while you work through all the challenges. Then, stand on the other foot.

Finally, if you have equipment such as inflated discs, practice all the challenges standing on top of it. First, stand on two legs, and then try standing on one leg as long as possible.

Improving your physical balance can improve your quality of life — at home and at work — and go a long way in helping to prevent falls and injuries. For best results, make balance-building movements part of your regular fitness routine.

Reynolds and Reynolds is committed to wellness as a way to help employees develop healthy habits that help them be more productive and engaged, both professionally and personally.


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Kim C.

Kim works as the Fitness Specialist at Reynolds Headquarters where she helps employees better understand the steps to developing a healthy lifestyle. She graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, with a degree in Exercise Science and is an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified group instructor and an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certified personal trainer. Her passion is running, and she regularly participates in 5k runs in the Dayton area.