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Striking A Balance: The Benefits Of Balance Exercises

Striking A Balance: The Benefits Of Balance Exercises

Maximizing the benefits of getting in shape requires a fitness regimen that tackles all components of physical fitness. However, most workouts are only focused on building strength or stamina, which can lead to neglecting other important components such as balance. Many might question the importance of balance; however, it is more than just remaining upright when you’re walking. Read on to discover how you can reap the benefits of balance exercises.

What is balance and why is it important?

In physical fitness, balance is considered to be a skill-related component of fitness. The components of physical fitness improve one’s ability to perform certain activities and fulfill day-to-day tasks. Balance refers to a person’s ability to remain upright whenever they’re moving or in stationary. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to stand on your tiptoes or even walk.

Having poor balance may also bring out difficulties in other life activities such as wearing lower body garments, picking up objects from the floor and reaching in overhead cabinets with one leg.

Working on your balance when you’re younger will also benefit you in the future. Having good balance as you grow older can help remove the risk of developing balance disorders, which can make you more prone to falling.

To test your balance, try out these simple balance exercises:

  1. Close your eyes and stand with both of your feet close together. You should be able to stay in place without swaying or losing your balance for at least 30 seconds.
  2. Next, try standing with your one foot in front of the other while your eyes are closed. Those with good balance won’t struggle to stay in place without swaying for at least 30 seconds.
  3. Try to keep both of your arms in front of you, as far as they can go while standing. Those with poor balance may have trouble staying upright doing this.
  4. Try standing on one leg for at least 30 seconds. Good balance means being able to maintain this posture for the given amount of time.
  5. Finally, try standing on one leg with your eyes closed. If you have difficulty maintaining this for at least 30 seconds, then your balance needs a bit of work.

Benefits of Balance Exercises

Incorporating balance exercises into your existing routine can make your work-out more comprehensive. However, the benefits of balance exercises go beyond one’s overall fitness.

Increase in of body awareness. This “awareness” is the body’s capacity to sense where the limbs are currently without seeing them. Without body awareness, you wouldn’t be able to go down a familiar flight of stairs without looking at your feet. One of the benefits of balance exercises is the improvement of one’s body awareness. This greatly reduces a person’s risk of falling or other related injuries.

Improvement in reaction time. During balance exercises, the body also works on its reaction time. Whenever you lose your balance, the automatic response would be to regain equilibrium. Improving your reaction time may also help prevent accidents that can cause injuries.

Faster recovery. Balance problems are common amongst elderly adults, especially if they’ve suffered from a stroke or have osteoporosis. Balance exercises can improve one’s stability, to help minimize the risk of accidents involving the loss of balance.

Improvement in other components of physical fitness. To maintain balance, several muscle groups must work together to keep the body upright. Doing balance exercises can also help with other physical fitness components such as strength and muscular endurance.

the benefits of balance exercises

Simple Balance Exercises

You don’t have to start doing a full work to maximize the benefits of balance exercises. In fact, you can sneak in a few balance exercises as you’re going about your day. The key is to be consistent, and do these exercises as often as you can. Here are a few simple balance exercises to try out:

  • If you’re waiting in line at the grocery, watching TV, or even just brushing your teeth, try standing on one leg for as long as you can. Make sure to shift your weight to one side of the body. Alternate this movement with both legs.
  • Try to walk heel-toe for twenty steps without swaying or losing your balance. If you find this difficult, try doing it beside a wall to steady yourself.

If you’d really like to work on your balance, exercises like yoga and tai chi can be worth checking out. Yoga is an ancient form of stretching and meditation that can improve on your balance. This type of exercise can also be beneficial for those who aren’t keen on engaging in an intense workout.

Similarly, tai chi is a low-impact exercise composed of graceful movements and gentle stretching. Tai chi while yoga is more focused on different stretches and poses.

Key Takeaway

When designing a fitness regime or workout routine, it’s important to include balance exercises. Balance is important as it enables a person to maintain equilibrium even when they’re moving or engaged in an physical activity. Improving balance is key to reducing one’s risk of getting into accidents or falling.

Learn more about Health and Fitness here.

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Written by Kip Soliva on Jan 07
Medically reviewed by Danielle Joanne Munji, OTRP
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