Exceeding Your Limits: Balance
Balance is your body's ability to keep you in a desired position. It is just as important as strength or endurance. Losing your balance can lead to injury and in some cases death. With practice you can significantly improve your balance. If you do not do balance training your ability to balance will decrease as you age.
You do not need any special equipment. All you need is your body. So you can do it almost anywhere. Balance training can strengthen your abdominal, back, and hip muscles. It also allows you to do more intense body weight exercises.
Balance exercises can be very relaxing and are good for improving your concentration. They are also easy on your body. So they will not tire you out and are less likely to cause your muscles to feel weak and sore. Since balancing works the core muscles the exercise are good for working your abs and back. It would be a good idea to include exercises that require balance if you want nice abs.
Like other exercises you should start with something easy and gradually increase the difficulty. You can probably think of some good exercises on your own. If you need ideas I recommend checking video sites like YouTube. I have listed a few examples below that you can try.
The Wii has some nice balance games. If you get the Wii balance board you can improve your balance by playing games and doing yoga.
A simple balance exercise that you can start with is the to stand on one leg for 30 seconds and try to keep increasing the time until you can stand on one leg until you can do it for 5 minutes. To increase the level of difficulty do it with your eyes closed.
While standing on one leg you can also move your body around. Lean forwards or sideways, move your arms and legs, move your body up and down etc. Lowering and raising yourself while standing on one leg is a good way to improve your balance and leg strength. You can also include some light weights if you want.
Using your arms to balance is a good way to increase your strength. When you do push-ups your legs are doing some of the work. To truly lift your body weight your legs should be in the air. Doing push-ups while keeping your legs in the air requires a lot of strength and good balance.
Healing exercises like tai chi, qigong and yoga all involve a lot of balance training. The reason I consider them healing exercises is because they have a lot of health benefits and can slow down the effects of aging. They also leave me feeling relaxed and energized.
Most of the great exercises involve balancing and maintaining good form. Check out the videos below to see people doing some balance exercises. You can find similar videos at YouTube by searching for balance exercises or yoga.
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