Having good balance is a matter of muscle tone, including having a strong core. Without it, a trip is much more likely to result in a fall, causing all sorts of possible complications, including the dreaded broken hip.
Having strong abs will help you to keep your balance, so even if you do trip, you’re able to catch yourself. The good news is there are exercises you can do to build up your core and improve your overall health – here are five of them to get you started.
Bird dog or superman – Get down on your hands and knees. Be sure your back is flat. Extend your right leg out behind you. At the same time extend your left arm out in front of you. Hold them there for about two seconds. Repeat on the other side. If you choose to hold the position for a longer period of time, be sure to hold each side for the same amount of time. Repeat this move 10 times.
Calf raises – standing on a step or a stable stool or chair, have your heels hang off the back. Rise up on your toes as high as you are able. Hold that position for at least two seconds and then lower your feet until they are parallel to the floor. For maximum effect, do 15 reps of this exercise.
Plank – Lie down on the ground with your elbows directly under your shoulders, with your forearms out in front of you. Lift yourself up by the balls of your feet and balance on your arms and feet. Be sure to keep your legs straight and your butt level with the rest of your body. Remember to breathe! Do not hold your breath. Hold this for as long as you can. If it’s only for a few seconds, that fine. The more you do this exercise, the stronger you will become and the longer you will be able to hold it.
Russian twist – While sitting on a mat, place your legs and feet in front of you. Keep your knees bent and your toes pointed up or flexed. Take a medicine ball or weights of approximately 4 pounds in your hands, and bring it to your chest. Sit back a bit, until you feel tension in your abs, working up to a 45 degree angle. Try to keep your hips and legs steady as you twist from side to side with the ball/weight. As you twist, try and touch the ground. Do 15 reps of side to side movement, trying to work up to 20.
Elevated tree pose – Balancing on one foot, tighten your core and place your other foot on the calf of your standing leg. Now extend your arms overhead and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side. If you really want to challenge yourself, do this same exercise on a yoga block.
Having rock hard abs not only looks and feels great, they help with balance, and also reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
By doing this workout routine 3-4 times a week, you will become stronger, healthier, look great and be able to balance on a tightrope across the Grand Canyon…well, maybe not that, but you will improve your balance.
-The Alternative Daily