Today, we continue the series on the benefits of exercise (you can click here to read that post in case you missed it) and specific types of exercises. (Read about Cardio Workouts here and Strength Training here.)
The importance of exercise
According to Harvard Health Publications, guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend a well-rounded plan of “aerobic activity, strength training, and balance exercises.”
What’s balance training?
It focuses on improving and/or maintaining stability (not falling over). Stable movement improve overall mobility.
Some types of training that emphasize balance are:
Various core and agility exercises
Some martial arts practices, such as Tai-chi
- Strengthens core muscles
- Improves stability and mobility
- Requires little to no equipment
- Multiple variations of simple movements
- Helpful to people at all fitness levels
In-house fitness expert, Mark Montalvo, says this:
“As we age, balance usually decreases resulting in falling or injury…this is why balance training is so important. It develops proprioception, which simply means how we move our bodies through space and time.“
He says effective balance training should be performed in multiple directions of movement, in an unstable environment. It can be as simple as walking on a straight line or standing on one leg.
Complicate that by standing on one leg while throwing or catching a ball.
- Must practice good form to reduce risk of injury
- Progress is hard to measure
So, everyone can benefit from balance training, no matter the level of fitness. Being able to stay upright and stable will go a long way to keeping you healthy and well.
Remember to check with your health care professional before starting an exercise program. This is especially important if you’re under doctor’s care for a health condition.