What is Good Balance?
Have you ever had the experience of ending up on the ground, trying to recover from a fall and not realizing how it happened? In a split second, you may find that your balance is not as good as you thought. Challenges to balance happen when you least expect it – not seeing a crack in the sidewalk, or a patch of ice as you step out of your car – and the results can be devastating.
Or maybe you sprained your ankle years ago and since then you have rolled that same ankle over and over again, each time more easily than ever before. Were you just born with a weak ankle, or is your balance impaired?
Balance is an underappreciated, yet vital skill for everyone. This seemingly natural ability to stay upright in a variety of different environments is actually a learned skill that is often taken for granted. Without balance, running, skiing, biking and even walking would be impossible.
How does Balance Work?
Several systems work together to achieve good balance. Your brain continually receives information from your inner ears, eyes, joints, and muscles telling you where you are in space. The information is processed and distributed to the muscles which then adapt to changes in the environment.
With good balance, you can ride a bike, run on a rocky trail, and avoid falling on the ice. Without good balance, even if you don’t fall, you may sprain your back or ankle, and you might eventually limit your activities to avoid a fall.
After an injury, and generally as you age, your central nervous system’s response time is slower, increasing the likelihood of recurrent falls or injuries. Muscles are also slower to react after an injury or with aging. Good balance becomes more vital than ever before. This is why everyone can benefit from the supervised balance training programs offered at ALTA.
Benefits of Good Balance
Fortunately, balance training can very quickly make a difference in your ability to avoid a fall, and to move with greater ease and confidence. Balance training involves challenging your balance in a safe environment, and learning strategies to improve your balance and confidence in all your activities, such as walking, standing, lifting, hiking, reaching, and carrying.
- Avoid falls
- Improve posture
- Improve your sport
- Increase confidence
- Move with ease
- Increase agility