2 Your Health: Balance and Stability

Editor’s Note: “2 Your Health” is a new column in the Sun Lakes Splash dedicated to health issues. Each month different doctors and or medical associations, from varying specialties, will be writing on issues of importance. Articles are based on experiences and independent research conducted by the doctors or medical associations. We encourage anyone considering changing medications and or altering medical therapy, as a result of information contained in these articles, to consult your doctor first. Robson Publishing, a division of Robson Communities, Inc. is not liable for information contained in these articles.

Chris James

We’ve all heard the saying “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” When it comes to balance and stability, it’s most definitely true. Most people assume that it’s because we are getting older that our balance is fading. Yes, age is a factor; however, more than anything else, it’s the lack of activity that causes us to lose our balance and stability. People also assume that it’s something that cannot be improved and that is simply not true and that is what we will be talk about in this article.

Balance and stability is important for everyday life. Without it, we cannot do necessary day to day activities and enjoy the activities that require it. It’s true that some people are born with better than average balance, but regardless of your starting point or what you may have lost due to inactivity, anyone can work toward improving their balance.

According to the NASM, a proprioceptively enriched environment is “an environment that challenges the internal balance and stabilization mechanisms of the body.” In other words, it’s putting the body in an unbalanced state while challenging the body in a safe way.

The way to improve balance is to consistently exercise in such a way that incorporates balance while doing the movements. Some examples are standing on a bosu while performing a bicep curl or a shoulder press, standing on one foot while performing a torso twist with a medicine ball, and standing on a bosu while performing a squat and cable row combination. These examples are but a taste of what a person can do to improve their balance. Studies have also shown that performing various leg exercises on a vibration plate machine will also improve balance.

It’s important to note that while performing balance exercises, safety is paramount. Start with more simple balance exercises. The best place to start is to perform movements while standing on one foot. It’s easy to catch one’s self by simply putting the other foot down. If there is a concern of falling, find a spotter or hire a personal trainer. An experienced personal trainer will push the limits in a safe way but also know how to assess where the limits need to be.

Results will vary from person to person but most people can see a noticeable difference even after the first session. The body responds very quickly to balance training. It’s very important to reiterate that just like with any progress made through training, there needs be consistency. Simple balance exercises can be performed daily. Make it a goal to be able to stand on one foot for a period of time, 30 to 60 seconds. I have clients who do household chores while standing on a bosu folding laundry, doing the dishes, and dusting. Balance training does not have to be rigorous or exhausting, the body simply needs to be challenged for a period of time and it needs to be done safely.

At Vimtrim, we offer customized personal training services that focus on balance and stability for most every need. Our range of services includes everything from training youth to personal training for the elderly for the purpose of improving the quality of life and reducing the risk of falls. Our passion is changing lives and improving the quality of life.

If you or a family member would benefit from our services and they live in the areas of Sun Lakes, Gilbert, Chandler, Ahwatukee and Scottsdale, contact us at [email protected]; call 480-264-5120; or look us up on-line at www.vimtrim.com.