While you’re unlikely to need to walk the plank in your lifetime, performing exercises to improve your balance can have a beneficial effect on many aspects of health, fitness, and lifestyle.
Balance for Injury Prevention
Balance training can help to reduce the risk of injury. Environmental factors will play a major role in the chance of an injury occurring, but preparing your body for these possibilities can massively reduce the risk of significant damage. Balance work can encourage the activation of the small stabilising muscles in the body which help to support joints and structures. It can also improve proprioception and reaction times.
A study performed in 2010 assessed the effects of balance training on older adults with type two diabetes. Older individuals who suffer from this condition are at a significantly higher risk of falling and have slower reaction times than those without. The study revealed that after six weeks of strength balance training, individuals experienced significant improvements in leg strength and faster reaction times, which in turn could help to prevent falls and non-impact injuries.
Improving Posture and Alignment
Balance and postural alignment go hand in hand. Improve one and you’ll likely improve the other. Poor posture is often a result of inactive and tight muscles. Balance training can improve postural alignment by recruiting the weaker muscles in the body which will help to realign its structure.
Exercise Performance Enhancement
Balance training is not limited to those who specifically want to improve balance. This type of training can encourage the body to work more efficiently as one whole unit when performing strength training and cardiovascular exercises. By improving balance, you will improve muscle group coordination in both the lower and upper body.
Balance training can easily be incorporated into an existing exercise regime and can even be performed at home. It can be beneficial to individuals of any age and can be a valuable component in building a healthy, strong, and well-balanced physique.