Balance, as defined by Google is "to keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.”
Balancing is actually a highly specific and complicated system in our body. Our sense of balance involves our visual and sensory systems which notice uneven surfaces and other environmental obstacles to make sure we don’t trip or run into anything. Our muscles and joints use mechanisms to pick up on how and where we are using them to let our brain know where each of our body parts are in space at a given time.
In addition, our inner ear contains semicircircular canals which contain fluid and tiny hairs that detect movement and let our brain know when and how we are moving. All of these messages are sent to our brain via our nervous system which alerts our brain to how our body must resond to make sure we stay upright and moving forward.
As we age, these senses naturally decline which increases the fall risk for older individuals. For the reason it's important have awareness of balance as a use it or loose it muscle and incorporate ways to improve our balance into our exercise routines (1).
Here are three exercises to practice that help improve our balance:
Power Throw With Lateral Movement
Other activities for improving balance include practicing yoga, Tai Chi and dance such as ballet. Do you typically practice balance training? Let us know in the comments below.