A wise man once said that the key to living a happy and healthy life is to find balance. Not only is this true when it comes to creating a work-life balance or a spiritual-physical balance — but in terms of your physical balance as well.
Having great balance will improve your mobility, strength, and coordination. It will help in all aspects of your life, making it easier to perform day-to-day household tasks, work efficiently, and win on the sporting field. It also reduces your risk of injury and an unexpected trip to a chiropractor in Stoke on Trent.
In this guide, our Stoke chiropractor will explain why balance is so important before sharing several simple tips for improving your balance.
Why Balance Is Important
Easier to perform daily activities
Having great balance will make it easier to move your body. You will be able to walk, reach for objects, go up-and-down stairs, and stand up more easily. It will help you function more easily in the world, which may help with your work activities, perform chores around the house, play with your kids, and much more.
Less risk of accidents
Slips, trips and falls remain common causes of injuries, particularly for older people. These types of accidents are much less likely to occur if you have excellent balance.
Improved sporting performance
It’s hard to overstate how important balance is for sporting performance. In addition to making it easier to stay on your feet, it will help you use your body’s muscle power more effectively. As a result, you may be able to kick a football further or hit a tennis ball harder.
If you are an older person with poor balance, you may not feel particularly stable on your feet. Unfortunately, this lack of confidence can sometimes prevent you from doing the things you enjoy. You might be hesitant to go to locations where there are trip hazards, like national parks, or you might avoid walking long distances. This can negatively impact your quality of life, as you might miss out on some very enjoyable activities, taking exercise and staying active. Having great balance means you will be more confident and be able to get out-and-about more often.
Why Does Your Balance Worsen?
The human body’s ability to balance is made possible by a part of the brain called the cerebellum, which controls balance, coordination, and fine motor control. It is this part of the brain which makes actions like walking, running, and standing on one leg possible.
However, balance also requires the involvement of your muscles, bones, and the vestibular system (within the inner ear). So, you won’t be able to balance as easily if there are problems involving your muscles, spinal alignment, posture, or hearing.
It often becomes harder to balance as you get older, simply because your physical condition may have deteriorated slightly over the years. Some medications may also have an effect on balance, as well as conditions like arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Fortunately, it is always possible to improve your balance. Just read the tips below to get started.
Improving Your Balance
Strengthen muscles in your lower body
Exercises which work on the legs and hips will help you develop a stable base, making it easier to balance. Some of the best options include walking, climbing stairs, and biking. If your balance is quite bad at the moment, start on a treadmill, stair stepper, or recumbent bike until you have developed some strength.
Stretch To Loosen Tight Muscles
Having tight muscles can negatively impact your balance and posture, particular if those muscles are in your hamstrings, lower back, calves, or groin. Performing regular stretches which focus on these areas can help. A chiropractor can advise on some of the most effective stretches for targeting these muscles.
Visiting a massage therapist or chiropractor for soft tissue treatment to loosen those muscles may also be beneficial.
Standing on one leg is a simple way to improve your balance. Take your shoes off before beginning. Simply stand straight and lift one foot slightly off the floor. Practice this movement until you can stand on one leg for at least 30 seconds.
If this is too hard initially, stand next to a table and gently rest your hand on it for additional support. Do your best to gradually take your hand off the table.
If you want to make the exercise more challenging, stand on a thin foam exercise mat. You can also bend your knee slightly, which will exercise the knee joint more intensely. If you are looking for an even harder challenge, close your eyes.
Our Stoke chiropractor has put together a video with exercises that can help you improve your balance. You can watch this video to see the exercise in action.
There are many good reasons to practice yoga which is why we run regular yoga classes at our chiropractic clinic on Stoke.
One of the many benefits of undertaking regular Yoga sessions is that it is very beneficial for motor skills, including balance. In addition to stretching out tight muscles that affect balance, yoga poses can test your static and dynamic balancing skills. This forces you to strengthen the muscles that help you balance.
How A Visit To Our Stoke Chiropractor May Help
Our chiropractor will be able to assess the condition of your spine and posture to identify any issues which may be affecting your ability to balance. If they do identify a problem they can then provide a combination of chiropractic treatments and physical therapy to address the issue.
If you are having problems with your balance or you are suffering pain or discomfort our chiropractic team at City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke are here to help you. To book an appointment with on of our chiropractors simply call our clinic on 01782 848 184 or you can book online on our website here.