Why is balance important?
Balance is crucial for overall well-being and is essential in various aspects of daily life. Here are some key reasons highlighting the importance of balance
• Falls prevention
Maintaining good balance helps prevent falls, especially in older adults. Falls can lead to serious injuries, and having good balance can reduce the risk of accidents.
• Functional independence and quality of life
Balance is essential for performing daily activities such as walking, standing and reaching. It contributes to functional independence and the ability to carry out routine tasks with ease. It allows individuals to participate in a wide range of activities and experience a higher level of overall well-being.
• Posture and alignment
Balance is integral to maintaining correct posture and body alignment. It helps prevent musculoskeletal issues and reduces the strain on joints and muscles
• Athletic performance
Athletes in various sports require excellent balance for optimal performance. Whether it’s running, jumping, or making precise movements, a well-developed sense of balance enhances athletic abilities.
• Cognitive function
There is a connection between physical balance and cognitive function. Practicing activities that challenge balance can stimulate the brain and contribute to cognitive well-being.
Here are some simple balance exercises you can practice at home.
Single leg stance
Bend 1 leg at the knee to lift your foot up behind you, stand and balance on the other foot. Hold for as long as you can. Repeat on the other side. Do 10 repeats.
Walk in a straight line, with each step place the heel of the foot close to/just touching the toes of the rear foot. Do 10 steps with each leg.
Slowly march on the sport, by bending alternate knees up towards your chest. Do 10 repetitions each leg.
Balance is integral to various aspects of health and functionality. It plays a crucial role in preventing injuries, maintaining independence and promoting overall physical and cognitive well-being.
Incorporating balance exercises into a regular fitness routine can be beneficial for people of all ages.
Written by Maddie Greenslade
Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Mount Barker myPhysioSA