Gaining and maintaining good physical balance is an important part of keeping yourself healthy and well. Good balance requires decent muscle strength in your core, back, and stabilizing leg muscles. As you begin to get older, physical balance is vital in avoiding falls that can lead to major injuries such as broken hips, pelvises, wrists, and head injuries. AARP reported that deaths from falls in adults 65 years and older had gone up 31%!
There are several activities you can begin today to improve physical balance and help you maintain it. Check out these six awesome ideas:
Balance on One Leg
Stand near a chair or wall to catch yourself if you lose balance. Put your feet together. Pick up one foot. Hold it with your eyes open and then closed. Try this 4 times with each foot.
Squats or Sit n’ Stands
With your feet shoulder-width apart, push your hips back and your arms out front, slowly down into a sitting position (without actually sitting). Come back up again. Repeat 10 times. Make sure your knees do not go out past your toes.
Swing Your Legs
Stand up straight. Lift one leg off the floor between three to six inches. Keep your arms at your side and swing your leg forward and backward while keeping your body straight. Repeat. Switch legs and do it again.
Close Your Eyes
Stand within reach of a chair or wall to catch yourself if you lose balance. Close your eyes. If you maintain balance, try it again, standing on one leg.
Once you’ve perfected the regular squat. Do the same but balancing on one leg. Achieve this by putting one leg out front with just the tip of your toe resting on the floor for balance. Then squat with just the other leg. Be sure your knee does not pass your toe by pressing your hips backward and hold your arms out front for more balance.
One of the most proven benefits of Tai Chi practice is improved balance. The slow, purposeful movements of Tai Chi builds muscle and provides practitioners with a better awareness of their bodies in space. Many Tai Chi movements work your glutes and quadriceps, which play a huge role in your balance when standing. The myriad of other stabilizing muscles that get stronger also decreases your chances of falling. But perhaps what really makes a difference for many, is that Tai Chi is accessible to everyone. Your fitness level and mobility are not of importance for practicing Tai Chi.
If you’d like to improve physical balance and stability, consider Tai Chi one of the best methods of doing so. If you come out to The Peaceful Dragon, you can enjoy a complimentary semi-private lesson to give Tai Chi a try before you commit. Call today to schedule your free visit.