And while balance may not seem like it is extremely necessary in all aspects of life, it is actually quite important. And, even if you are graceful from a young age, balance is something that can be affected as time goes on. After all, the aging process can wear away at your natural ability to stay balanced, beginning gradually after the age of 30 in most people.
This is because muscles we use to stand and walk start to weaken, our strides get shorter and slower, and our vision declines. Experts say that balance is a, “use it or lose it,” way of being.
Fortunately, things like staying active and regular exercise help us to maintain our balance abilities. To improve your balance skills and to keep them sharp, take a look at these easy routines and tips below.
4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Balance
Stand on one leg once in a while
Even doing this in short spurts helps to improve your balance. The great thing about this exercise is that you can do it while doing other things – multi-tasking! Try standing on one leg while you are washing your hands or folding laundry in approximately thirty second intervals, rotating legs.
Once you get good at this, try doing it on a more unstable surface like a cushion for an added challenge.
Take a yoga class
Yoga is scientifically proven to enhance your balance skills. Especially certain poses are meant for this, namely those like the mountain, chair, and tree poses. A Temple University student found that women 65 and older who took yoga twice-weekly or more for 9 weeks increased their ankle flexibility and showed more confidence walking.
A yoga class has tons of added benefits – such as reducing stress levels, boosting immunity, and aiding in digestion – so improving balance is just the cherry on top!
Get more rest
A good night’s sleep of seven or more hours helps to improve balance as it sharpens your reaction time, which is important in combatting against a fall. In fact, Prevention found that out of 3,000 older women studied, those who slept between five and seven hours of sleep each night were 40% more likely to take a fall than those who slept more than seven hours.
While many people aren’t dying to do this intense exercise, it does have more benefits than shaping your legs and bum. It also plays a large role in strengthening your legs enough to combat against taking a spill.
All in all, maintaining a strong sense of balance and sharpening your ability is possible, but it may take some work. Luckily the exercises suggested for doing so are simple enough and can be fun, too!