The human body is always striving for balance.  Internally, it operates efficiently when things are in balance.  If things should be a little off, the body tries hard to regain homeostasis. Externally, balance requires the coordination of three senses; eyes, sense of spatial awareness and our vestibular system.    For instance, with the vestibular system if the fluid in the inner ear is off then balance becomes an issue.  Balance problems can also arise from certain prescription medications, effects of alcohol and certain diseases.  Diabetes, neuropathy and arthritis can effect balance.  But there are so many things you can do today that can greatly improve your balance.

A balanced body requires flexibility to allow movement in any direction.  It also requires strength to hold and stabilize a position.  Most importantly, it requires the ability to process information coming into your brain from your eyes, muscles, skin and joints.  To increase strength, stability and flexibility balance needs to be addressed daily.  Good balance is imperative to be able to enjoy an active healthy lifestyle.  There are no complicated machines needed to work on balance.  Any standing exercise can be an opportunity to work on your balance.  The following are a small list of exercises that have been shown to help with balance.  Please check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

1. Stand with feet parallel to each other hip-width apart (just stand and count to 30)

2. Stand in a split stance (one foot in front of the other) feet about hip-width apart.      (count to 30)

3. Split stance with feet in line with one another (narrow stance) (count to 30)

4. Stand on one foot (be near a kitchen counter or something you can hold onto in the beginning) The goal is not to hold on. (count to 30)

For more information about fitness, please contact Kay Colgan, Middleburg Pilates and Personal Training, 14 S. Madison Street, Middleburg, Virginia or call 540-687-6995.

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