Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Balance - simple but essential

I've had posts up previously about balance. There are studies out there showing that balance or proprioception training can reduce the incidence of knee and ankle injuries.

I've also said that balance training need not be complicated - personally I've got into the habit of putting my socks on each morning while standing up rather than sitting down - you have to balance on one leg to do it.

Anyway, I've also posted before that all this training ultimately should be about keeping you functioning for everyday life and as we age it becomes increasingly important that we maintain our ability to balance not least to prevent falls. Forget high performance sports, as we get older we want to maintain our independence and fitness and being able to stand and walk and balance becomes essential not for tricks but for life itself.

I saw this interesting article in the NY Times on balance:

Noting that each year one in three Americans 65 and older falls, and that falls and their sometimes disastrous medical consequences are becoming more common as the population ages, Mr. McCredie wonders why balance is not talked about in fitness circles as often as strength training, aerobics and stretching. He learned that the sense of balance begins to degrade in one’s 20s and that it is downhill — literally and figuratively — from there unless steps are taken to preserve or restore this delicate and critically important ability to maintain equilibrium.

Interesting and important stuff, with some ideas for training.


Anonymous said...

one good way is to brush your teeth standing on one foot, make it more difficult by closing your eyes...

Chris said...

Cheers - good idea.