The Importance of Balance

Balance.

Not “Work-Life” balance or some other buzzword—the Kinesthetic kind.

The kind that allows gymnasts to walk on balance beams and prevents the average joe from falling off ledges and avoiding other dangers.

Good balance, rooted in proper appendage alignment and positioning, can eliminate pain and prevent serious ankle and leg injuries. Much of the stretching and daily exercise we do doesn’t promote good health (much more on this in a post coming soon).

The ability to distribute weight and maneuver one’s legs is essential for superior performance in sport and comfort in everyday life.

Here’s a simple exercise for improving balance and increasing foot-stability and awareness:

Stand up.

Now close your eyes and stand one foot. Balance as long as you can on that foot. Don’t grab onto any nearby object for support. Keep your arms at your side. Try to keep your entire foot on the ground—-evenly distributing your body weight.

Aim for a 5-second hold to start. When your balance improves, extend the duration of the exercise.

When you’re finished with one foot, switch to the other.

Repeat this exercise often.

Keeping your eyes closed during this activity helps one focus on the muscles and neurons responsible for balance and body control. The better your balance, the better chance you’ll have of preventing that next ankle or knee injury. You should also see an improvement in your agility.

(Disclaimer: Consult your doctor before undertaking any new fitness initiative)

I’ll post some ground-breaking information on back, ankle, knee and joint pain sometime in the next few weeks.

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