back view of woman in a forest balancing on a log with arms outstretched

Why You Should Improve Your Balance

When people talk about fitness, they often focus on cardio or weight training to shed fat and build muscle. While these are important parts of any exercise routine, don’t forget about another essential part of getting fit—balance.

Usually, people don’t worry about their balance until they get older or suffer from an injury that throws off their equilibrium. However, incorporating balance training into your regular fitness routine can help prevent injuries at any stage in life. It can also help you move your body more efficiently so you can stay active for longer.

3 Reasons to Improve Your Balance

Not sure if balance training is worth your time? Consider these three benefits of improving your balance for your physical and mental health.

  1. Prevent falls
    Falls can happen to anyone, anywhere. All it takes is one misstep, and suddenly you’re on the ground when you should be climbing the stairs. However, when you have good balance, your body can quickly adapt to unexpected changes in terrain, like loose rocks or a hidden patch of ice, to keep you upright when you encounter them.
  2. Prevent injuries
    When you have a lower risk of falling, you have a lower risk of getting injured from those falls. Additionally, balance training can prevent joint injuries by stabilizing your knees, hips, shoulders, and ankles. This can make all sorts of activities safer, from walking around your house to running a marathon.
  3. Improve your memory
    Practicing balance is an excellent way to prevent cognitive decline as you age. A recent study found that focusing on balance can lead to greater cognitive performance. It takes a tremendous amount of focus to stay balanced. Your mind will have to work just as hard as your body to remain upright. If you struggle, keep practicing!
    How to Improve Your Balance
    You can start improving your balance right now. First, stand up straight with equal weight distributed on both legs. Keep a table or chair nearby for support. Next, take a deep breath and look ahead. If you can stay here without wobbling, move your feet closer together. Then, close your eyes. If you start to wobble here, then this is your starting point. Stand here for 30 seconds at a time.

If you still feel stable standing on both legs, then move into standing on one leg for 30 seconds. Lower your leg, then repeat on the other side. Practicing this every day will go a long way toward improving your overall balance.

If you want to incorporate more balance work into your day, consider adding yoga or tai chi to your weekly fitness regimen to get additional balance training.

Stay Flexible as You Improve Your Balance

Flexibility and balance go hand-in-hand. Stretching is another effective way to improve your balance. When you work with a stretch therapy professional at StretchSpot, let them know you want to improve your balance. They can work with you to incorporate stretches that increase your flexibility and balance.

Schedule an appointment today to see how your daily activities and fitness routines improve when you add flexibility and balance to your day.

5 Surprising Ways Poor Posture Impacts Your Health

Our society has a chronic problem with posture. Many of us spend our days hunched over a keyboard, putting strain on our necks and causing tension in our shoulders and upper back. We relax at night by sitting in a reclined position on the couch, phone in hand.

Even those of us who are more active throughout the day can fall into a routine of standing with rounded shoulders instead of standing up straight like we know we should. Being slouched is often more comfortable because it requires fewer muscles. Unfortunately, poor posture can make you look unconfident. It can also cause health problems that impact other aspects of your life.
Health Effects of Bad Posture
Here are five surprising ways that poor posture can negatively affect your health.

1. Digestive Troubles

Slouching adds pressure to the abdomen, which can trigger acid reflux after you eat. This results in uncomfortable heartburn and can even impact the intestines, causing constipation and a loss of appetite. Make a point to stand or sit up straight after meals to aid digestion. Going for a walk after eating can also help.

2. Headaches

Slouching adds pressure on to your neck, which can lead to tension headaches. If you frequently find yourself with a headache, it could be due to poor posture when you are sitting at your desk.

3. Breathing efficacy

Slouching puts extra pressure on your lungs, which can negatively affect how much oxygen you are able to take in with every breath. Over time, this can cause problems throughout your body because every cell in your body requires oxygen to do its job.

4. Incontinence

Many women suffer from incontinence after pregnancy or reproductive surgery. Adding poor posture can make it even worse. The extra pressure placed on your abdomen when you slouch also adds pressure to your bladder. This can decrease the strength of your pelvic floor muscles and make it more likely that you leak a little urine when you sneeze or laugh.

5. Back pain

Bad posture can weaken the muscles in your back, causing pain in your upper and lower back as well as your shoulders. Unfortunately, when we feel pain in our backs, we usually respond by sitting, slouching, or lying down, which only exacerbates the problem. Even though standing up straight doesn’t sound appealing when your back hurts, it’s essential if you want to ease your back pain.
Improve Your Posture Through Stretching
You can’t fix bad posture overnight. Correcting chronic poor posture takes time and a focused effort on strengthening the muscles in your body. Your core, shoulders, and back muscles can all be strengthened so that they can effectively support your body.

Frequent stretching can help you improve your posture so you can move more efficiently and feel better. It can also ease muscle soreness and tension in your lower back, which can help you sit and stand tall once again.

If you have been dealing with any of the above effects of bad posture, we can help! Schedule an appointment with the StretchSPOT to get started!