Get a More Balanced Workout: The Benefits of Balance Training
The chances are that when you’re planning out your fitness routine, you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about improving your balance. In fact, balance training often goes ignored by many people, simply because they don’t understand the benefits of adding into their workout. In simple terms, balance is the ability a person has to control their body’s position – whether it’s stationary or in motion.
Balance makes up an essential part of fitness, alongside things like cardiovascular exercise, strength, and flexibility, and training can come in many different forms.
It may not seem as impressive as being able to lift a huge weight above your head, or bench press something phenomenal, but the truth is that a well-developed sensory-motor system is critical to your health, and wellbeing. If you end up with a fitness level that is disproportionate to your balancing abilities, you’re more likely to end up injuring yourself. The following are just some of the most important benefits of incorporating balance training into your workout.
1. Be More Aware of Your Body
Imagine being completely in control of your body at all times – aware of how your limbs are oriented, and able to carry yourself with a greater degree of confidence. Improving your balance means that you should be able to move through motions seamlessly, with less risk of injury. Whether you’re running across bumpy terrain or working out particular muscles in the gym, better balance should take your experience to the next level.
2. Improved Co-ordination
Balance training relies heavily on your ability to train the various muscles of your body into working together – reducing your chances of stumbles and falls. By improving your co-ordination through the act of balance training, you should find that you’re less clumsy and more graceful in your day to day life – an aspect which can be more useful than you might expect.
This can certainly help in athletics. Most likely you are not going pro any time soon or about to sign a Division I scholarship with any marquee college but so what? If you have better balance you will perform better in basketball or in any sport you want to play with some friends. Perhaps your business or organization wants to set up a volleyball or a softball team. You may not dominate the league or the team but at least you will be able to hold your own and not be a liability to your team.
Having better balance will help you raise children better since you can do more with them, including playing some sports with them and perhaps even coach them.
3. Joint Stability
One of the major issues that reduces a person’s ability to stick to fitness routines and workouts over time, is joint injury. By incorporating balance training into your lifestyle, you will be actively promoting stable ankles, knees, shoulders, and hips?thereby preventing an array of life-changing injuries and body problems. Joint injuries are particularly common in people who don’t devote any of their time to balance training, but often enjoy playing sports or engaging in physical exercise.
4. Quicker Reaction Times
If you begin to stumble or slip when you’re carrying out various balance exercises, then your body will re-balance itself immediately in order to stop you from falling. By learning how to adjust your position quickly to avoid injury, your reaction times are bound to improve, meaning that you’ll easily correct mistakes when they arise, without falling into the trap of over-correcting.
5. Greater Strength and Power
Frequently, people consider power and strength to be largely the same thing – but the truth is that they are very different. Balance training is a way of challenging your nervous system, which recruits the effort of your muscles whenever you attempt to lift weights. As your nervous system becomes more robust and efficient, you should find that you have less trouble engaging more of your muscle for lifts. On the other hand, power refers to your ability to instantly exert maximum muscle concentration during movement. To achieve more power, you need better strength, and speed.
6. Agility (Speed)
The other half to the power equation, agility delivers the speed that you need to perform incredible feats in fitness and sports. Agility gives you the ability to change the positioning and direction of your body in a sharp and efficient manner, and to achieve this you’re going to need balance. After all, without balance, the chances are that your attempts at agility are more likely to end with you in a heap on the floor.
7. Fun Long Term Benefits
It may not seem like it, but adding balance exercises into your fitness routine can add a new dimension of entertainment into the mix – which is both fun and challenging at the same time. You should experience a significant confidence boost when you realize how many benefits balance training has introduced to your fitness regimen. What’s more, with balance training, you’ll get long-term health benefits too. This is from helping you to avoid fractures and falls, to ensuring your joints are strong and stable.
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About Benjamin Roussey Benjamin is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online.