If you’re having a hard time carrying your grocery bags upstairs or you feel wobbly when walking on an uneven ground, your body might be lacking in balance. Unfortunately, most people take for granted how steady they are on their feet until they slip or fall and get injured.
You might think that only the elderly need a balanced body more than anyone else, but having a balanced body is important for everyone. Every activity we do on a daily basis relies on our balance, yet it is often neglected.
From our early childhood, up to our golden years, being able to maintain a balanced body whilst doing a certain activity is important to our everyday functioning. Striving for balance in our everyday lives can provide a lot of benefits. In fact, the benefits of a balanced body go far beyond having the ability to walk steadily.
Why Having a Balanced Body is Important
A good body balance means a lot for injury prevention. For athletes, improving their balance lowers their risk of injury. For example, just one ankle sprain can affect performance throughout the season and puts you at higher risk of future injuries. For older people, an improved balance could prevent slips and falls, saving them from fractures.
Balance is not just about your feet. Working on a balance requires many different muscles from your head to toe to function. The different muscle groups work together, which can allow you to control the muscles that may have been unused for a long time. Training your muscles to work synergistically can benefit your posture and strength.
An improved body balance can enhance your performance. This means you have the ability to control your muscles during challenging tasks. For athletes, improved body balance rewards them with more agility and shorter reaction times. For everyone else, it allows being able to safely walk on a rocky surface or being able to rely less on walking canes.
Maintaining a balanced body takes 3 different systems to coordinate with each other.
- Vestibular system – found in the inner ear. It acts as a “carpenter’s balance” to keep you level.
- Proprioceptive system – uses proprioceptors, which are sensory nerves in the muscles, tendons and joints. These nerves send signals to the central nervous system, giving you posture and spatial awareness.
- Visual system – sends signals from the eyes to the brain with regards to body’s position in relation to its surroundings.
How Reformer Pilates Can Help
A strong core largely contributes to a sense of balance. And the best way to strengthen your core is through Reformer Pilates.
It doesn’t matter how strong your arms and legs are. If the muscles are not as strong as the core where they’re attached to, you can’t guarantee you have a good body balance. It’s not just about equilibrium alone.
Of course, the other body parts come into play. A combination of strong core and strong extremities is needed to achieve a good balance. Your core will keep you upright when you slip on a wet floor. But it won’t help much if you roll an ankle on a rock. You need strong ankles too.
Remember that balance and core strength goes hand in hand. As you build core strength, your balance will improve naturally. Therefore, if you’re already doing Reformer Pilates, you’re also training your balance.
Balance is control. Take control and withstand the challenges of life’s situations.Book your Pilates Body Assessment to find out if doing Reformer Pilates classes is right for you – click here for more info.