Walking and maintaining your balance (not falling down) have conventionally been considered relatively straightforward balance and mobility functions. But for many, growing older means a decrease in balance and mobility, amplified chances of injuries, and a decline in happiness and fulfillment.
Approximately, 35% of adults over age 70 and the majority of adults over age 85 have clinically diagnosable gait abnormalities. Gait abnormalities can lead to mobility limitations, which are associated with loss of independence, substantially reduced quality of life, increased fall risk, hospitalization, and premature death. (1)
What is Balance and Mobility?
Balance is the capability to evenly allocate your weight in such a way that you can remain still or move in any direction without tumbling over. Balance necessitates the cooperation of many muscles, bones, joints, the central nervous system, and inner ear. Creating mobility while keeping balance requires the same cooperation but to a higher degree.
Why the need for balance and mobility training?
A study published in British Journal of Sports Medicine found exercising, including balance and mobility training, reduce falls that lead injuries by 37%, serious injuries by 43%, and broken bones by 61%. (2)
To improve balance and mobility we must indulge in physical activity. Physical activity can include everyday activities such as walking, going up and down stairs, running, bending, lifting, and carrying. It can also include structured exercise like weightlifting, swimming, HIIT class, Balance & Mobility class, and yoga. I recommend both! Once we reach a certain age that doesn’t mean we should stop doing the usual everyday physical activities like, walking, carrying, and taking the stairs. You’ve heard the phrase, “Use it or Lose it”, well that applies here. If you quit taking the stairs soon you won’t be able to take the stairs.
The only way to improve balance and mobility is by strengthening the entire body. Balancing exercises and weight bearing exercises that focus on the muscles of the core, back, legs, and glutes, will greatly improve balance and mobility. Balance and mobility training does not involve high intensity workouts, throwing your body on the floor, or lifting the heaviest weight. It consists of systematic movements that create tension on the muscle, tendon, and nerves, causing them to respond in such a way as to firmly secure you in place. Over time the muscles, tendons, and nerves learn and adapt, improving after each session. Body weight is all that is required, although dumbbells can be used to add resistance.
Adding a balance and mobility session to your workout routine will enhance your training, get you in shape quicker, and ultimately lead to a better quality of life.
Some of the many benefits of balance and mobility training are: it burns more calories by making the body work harder, creates muscular balance in the body, works and tones deep muscles, improves neuromuscular coordination by getting the brain to communicate with the muscles, increased blood flow, teaches your body to use the core for stabilization, and flatten that tummy. Balance and mobility training is excellent for improving poor posture and adding refinement in which you move.
These exercises contribute to better overall energy expenses, maximizing your exercise session, and faster recover from DOMs [Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness]. Basically, balance and mobility training will keep everything working as if the body were much younger. Normal everyday functions that have become difficult will return to their once easy ways.
Wait no further. Schedule a Balance & Mobility session with me and let’s get you walking tall, head held high, feeling good and looking even better!
Will Winsborrow, ACSM-CPT
Khronology Functional Fitness and Nutrition
Personal Training – Group Fitness – Nutrition Counseling – Massage Therapy
Will Winsborrow, ACSM-CPT
Stevie Winsborrow, NDTR, LMT
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