You’re lying in the dentist’s chair and he or she asks whether you floss regularly. You nod, and avoid their eyes. Because you know they can see, from the plaque on your teeth, that ‘regularly’ is stretching the truth a bit. You own floss, you do use it – especially after eating ribs or corn – but not exactly every day.
So it is with most of our health. We know what we should be doing, but unless someone is holding up a mirror to us, or displaying pounds on a scale, we sometimes gloss over the truth to ourselves.
Balance is in many ways a holistic measure of a person’s health and fitness. So if you exercise regularly, and challenge your muscles and your balance, it will improve. If you have a period of time where you’re just going through the motions, or skipping the difficult exercises, your balance will deteriorate over time.
Like flossing, you really can’t fake it.
The good news is that, unlike flossing, you can take up balance exercises at any point and start to see improvements within a short period of time. How quickly will depend on a number of factors, including your general fitness and how hard you work at it. There is no quick fix: only by doing will your balance improve.
What should I do?
If you’ve been neglecting balance – or never worked specifically on balance before, it’s worth talking to a personal trainer or instructor who can help assess where you are and how best to move forwards. If you like the social element of group exercise classes, look for Tai Chi or beginner’s yoga near you. The instructor will help you form the poses correctly to maximize benefit and minimize risk of injury.
Even if you’re a regular exerciser or sportsperson, it’s worth checking that you’ve not fallen into a rut with your training. Adding balance training into your workout can help avoid injury and overtraining too.
Click the link above to receive a free ebook on balance and how it works in the body.