Often neglected, but very important, are the addition of balancing exercises into your workout program. They are very simple and can be done at anytime. The inclusion of balance exercises can help you maintain your balance - and confidence - at any age. They can also help prevent falls and improve your coordination. For older adults, balance exercises can promote independence.
Nearly any activity that keeps you on your feet and moving, such as walking, can help you maintain good balance. You can also include balance exercises in your daily routine. I often encourage my clients who need to work on balance to fit balancing exercises into there everyday activities, for example, standing on one foot while talking on the phone, or doing dishes. You can even practice your balancing exercises while watching TV.
A simple balance exercise can include standing on one foot and holding it for 2-30 seconds on each leg. You can stand near a chair for added support if needed.
For a more advanced balance exercise, try this single leg hip rotation exercise:
1. Stand with feet straight and hip-width apart.
2. Lift chest and tuck chin.
3. Draw-in belly button and squeeze butt muscles.
4. Balance on one leg and lift other until knee is at waist level.
5. Rotating at hip, bring lifted leg toward side of body then back to front; hold each point two seconds.
6. Return to start.
If you have severe balance problems or an orthopedic condition, get your doctor's OK before doing balance exercises. If you have any questions about including balancing exercises into your routine, please feel free to contact me for more information.
Corinna Maggy is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 605-3549. The information contained within Health Matters is not a substitute for professional medical examination, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program or beginning any nutritional regimen.