The Art of Balancing

Balance comes in physical, emotional, and a spiritual form..

When we live with peace and harmony everyday its easy to achieve the balance that we aim to achieve for life. However the balance I’m talking about here is the kind of balance we have to hold our bodies upright. Be it standing on one foot, or saving ourselves when we trip. Whether we are toddlers, teens, adults young & older balance is important. Some of us know we don’t have great balance but others, as we find, think their balance is fine until tested. 

While it may not sound exciting, striving for balance in our every day can promote an assortment of benefits. In fact, the benefits of physical balance go far beyond just being able to walk steadily.

This simple balance assessment is a great place to start. To begin, be sure to have something sturdy to hold onto nearby, and then close your eyes and stand on one foot. Keep track of how long you were able to hold this position.

This can be an eye-opening experience for those who believe they have good balance. Longevity researchers agree that good physical balance can turn back the clock not only physically but functionally. The time, in seconds, that you are able to hold this position correlates with your functional age. Functional age is the combination of individuals’ physical, mental, emotional and actual chronological ages. 

28s = 25-30y
22s = 30-35y
16s = 40y
12s = 45y
9s = 50y
8s = 55y
7s = 60y
6s = 65y
4s = 70y

Balance exercises can also prevent everyday injuries through core strength. Balance begins in your core. The core is more than just the abdomen; strong hips, ankles and gluteal muscles are also critical to good balance. People with weak core muscles are more prone to falls, decreased mobility in the spine, slower reflexes and lower back injuries.

Good balance can also support mental clarity and ease anxiety. Researchers concluded that people who took part in balance exercises had greater cognitive gains than those who did not. These exercises also ease anxiety by encouraging the individual to remain in the present moment.

One can build their balance by:
Be a Tree – Stand on one foot for at least 30 seconds, and then switch – you can leave your eyes open
Have a Ball– Sit on a stability ball with your feet planted flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Lift and extend one leg at a time, while simultaneously raising your opposing arm to shoulder-level.
Leg Swing– Start by standing with your arms at your sides and feet shoulder-width apart. Lift one leg to a 45-degree angle and swing it back and forth at least 10 times before switching.
Yoga Pose– Feet together, slowly lower hips to seat height, lift arms to sky and hold for 10-60 seconds.

One set of the exercises listed above will take about 5 minutes. Dedicate 5 minutes per day to this routine and you will see the benefits in less than 2 weeks.

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