My balance isn’t good enough to…. (insert challenging yoga pose or complicated exercise move here).
I spend most of my time working in physical therapy and yoga studios and hear this statement at least once a day. And every time I do, I have to shake my head in disagreement. If this sounds like you, I'll tell you what I always tell my clients: "You are all good enough and totally capable to practice with what you already have."
So whether it's finding your way into that yoga pose, or getting your footing in the exercise you don't think you're capable of doing, I assure you that your overall balance will improve as a result. All you have to do is try!
Here are some great reasons to start exploring and challenging your balance right now:
1. As we age our balance declines.
Many of us are well-aware of the recommendations for cardiovascular training and maintaining muscular strength for optimum health. But maintaining good balance is just as important. Poor balance can lead to a whole host of problems, including falls.
Particularly in older age, once a fall occurs, it can have a downward spiral effect on your health, and there is a high chance you will fall again, increasing your likelihood for further injury. As you age, your bones become weaker and the healing and recovery process takes longer.
Worse, you can develop a fear of falling, which leads to a fear of moving. Continuing to move is vital to your health because moving is medicine. Being able to maintain your ability to balance is key in being able to move in a functional, healthy way. Again, the only way to maintain this is by challenging your balance.
2. Losing your balance helps to improve your balance.
Your balance is controlled by three systems: vestibular, somatosensory, and visual. These three systems closely interact to keep the center of gravity over your base of support, and to keep you upright.