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10 Fitness Tips to Better Natural Balance

You might not think of balance as an important physical ability, but it's the only thing . that keeps us upright!

Balance is more than a natural ability, though; you can increase your balancing skills with exercise and practice. Read on for the specifics on keeping your balance in this topsy-turvy world!

Beauty Tips Girl Friday
  1. Stay strong. Muscle weakness, especially in the legs, leads to imbalance and too often, to falling. If you keep your muscles in good shape through strength or resistance training, you're more likely to keep your balance.  
  2. Go cardio. Cardiovascular exercise involves moving around, which contributes to practicing balance. It also helps keep your weight down and your muscles fit.  
  3. Exercise for balance. Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gung are three examples of disciplines that focus on improving your balance. They also burn fat and increase muscle as well as improving your stability.  
  4. Be flexible. Stretching is a must-have before and after every workout, and it contributes to your ability to establish and maintain your balance. Take classes that involve stretching and loosen up muscles and joints before engaging in vigorous exercise. Stretching will help you avoid injury—another leading contributor to loss of balance.  
  5. Stand like a heron. Practice standing on one leg. Start beside a wall or a chair that you can grab in case you start to tip over, and progress to standing on one leg whenever you're bored. Like waiting in line at the movie or supermarket.  
  6. See your doctor if your balance is noticeably bad. Anything from a need for new glasses to a different sort of medication can mess up your balance. If you find yourself unable to balance and aren't making progress in balancing practice, talk with your doctor about possible causes.  
  7. Get shifty. Practice the step-touch you'll learn in aerobics or Jazzercise classes, or just stand with your feet apart and shift your weight from one side to the other. For more challenge, just move your feet closer together, which will make balance a little trickier.  
  8. Grow your confidence. If you're physically active, your body will gain a physical confidence in its ability to stay upright or to adjust to change. Challenge yourself a little at a time by trying new activities that use your balance. As you become more sure of yourself, you'll take bigger risks and increase your new skills. You might want to try something fun like carrying an egg in a spoon across the back yard. Race with your kids or grandkids to build your speed.  
  9. Create an obstacle course. If you're worried about your balance, chances are that you walk slower and more carefully than other people do. Take note of your walking speed and increase it little by little until you can walk quickly and with confidence. Once you've built up some speed, add new activities such as stepping over things (puddles, rocks, etc.) while keeping your speed.  
  10. Pay attention to balance. Balance is something most people don't think about until they get older and realize (often after a fall) that their balance is frail. By starting early and training your body to balance, you'll be preventing injuries and preserving your general health.

Continue reading the next aerobics article on safe stretching

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