15 Simple Exercises for Balance and Coordination
There are many exercises for balance. And each of them prolongs the youth of our body. Why?
Balance exercises primarily help improve the cerebellar function. The cerebellum helps us to fulfill a wide variety of types of motor loads. But a modern person is usually engaged in monotonous physical activity during the day. We do not acquire any new complex physical skills on a daily basis. Therefore, the activity of the cerebellum is weakening.
Postural steadiness can be assesses with a tandem stance. It is a clinical measure of standing balance that assesses postural steadiness in a heel-to-toe position by a temporal measurement.
Benefits of balance exercises
- Increase the elasticity of arteries and thereby beneficially affect the work of the cardiovascular system;
- Improve coordination of movements. This is due to the training of the cerebellum: it is responsible for reflex movements. That is, for what we do automatically, without hesitation;
- Allow faster response in critical situations. This is also related to cerebellar training: it provides our unconscious reactions;
- Improve mental abilities: increase concentration, the ability to concentrate;
- Allow you to quickly master simple movements. Again, thanks to the cerebellum;
- Increase life expectancy. According to the research results, 25% of those who had the best results in their ability to maintain balance lived 10 years longer than other participants in the experiment;
- Improve the functioning of the vestibular apparatus. It is located in the inner ear and supplies the brain with information regarding the movement of the body;
- Improve the functioning of the nervous system. From the organs of vision, the vestibular and musculoskeletal system, information enters the brain through the neuromuscular system. And it, in turn, transmits signals through the central and peripheral nervous system;
- Strengthen deep muscle stabilizers. It is difficult to develop these muscles with ordinary training: for example, strength exercises allow you to strengthen and develop mainly superficial muscles that create the relief of our body. But the muscles located deep down remain underdeveloped. Balance exercises allow you to get to them;
- Increase the stability of the spine and joints. This is due precisely to the training of deep muscle stabilizers;
- Reduce the risk of injury. The ability to balance, the quick work of the cerebellum, the trained deep muscles – everything allows you to avoid falls and gain stability;
- Develop “proprioception”. Proprioception is a “feeling of the body” even with eyes closed. It determines our ability to move in the dark, to perform complex coordinated actions;
- Develop agility. Due to the development of the “sense of the body” (see paragraph above);
- Delay the aging of the body. In particular, they retain the motor functions of the body, as in a young one: you can maintain a sense of balance and good coordination till the very old age;
- Maintain the smoothness and beauty of movements. Your walk will be more feminine and calm, rather than shuffling senile. And your everyday movements will acquire more grace;
- Prevent muscle tremor syndrome with simple movements. With age, the symptoms of muscle strain become almost daily: a person has trembling in the hands even when some familiar things are done. This is due to the attenuation of the functioning of the cerebellum. Let’s not let it grow old ahead of time;
- Increase cognitive interest in life. Sounds unexpected? But this is a manifestation of the youth of the cerebellum! Balance exercises are a great opportunity to extend the joy of life and light in your eyes;
- Increase social activity. And this, again, is the merit of a well-functioning cerebellum;
- Improve metabolism by enhancing the secretory function of the digestive tract. This means that the digestive glands begin to more intensively produce secretions (i.e. digestive juice) and break down food using various enzymes;
- Improve vision if you perform exercises with your eyes closed;
- Increase hearing acuity due to more enhanced blood circulation and the functioning of the vestibular apparatus.
We would suggest doing such gymnastics daily! Choose 1-2 exercises. In addition to the fact that they are extremely useful, they also always improve mood. And do not require much physical effort.
Best balance exercises
Balance exercises should be done in the morning and in the evening. You should start with the simplest poses and gradually “train the cerebellum” with more difficult exercises to coordinate.
Important! All balance exercises are performed without torso unless otherwise specified. That is, you should stand straight, and not leaning forward / backward / sideways.
The exercise is performed standing, with eyes closed. It is necessary to bend one leg at the knee and tear it off the floor. Holding upright, stand as long as you can. For beginners, the duration usually does not exceed 10-20 seconds. Then change the leg.
Stand up straight. Feet together. Your hands on your hips. Now CLOSE EYES! Stand for 20 seconds and get on your toes. It is recommended to stand on toes with eyes closed for 15 seconds.
Stand up straight. Feet together. Your hands on your hips. Get on your toes and throw your head back as far as possible. Stand on your toes for 15 seconds with your eyes open. Now close your eyes. And try to stand for 10 seconds on toes with a bowed head.
The exercise is taken from the Romberg test, which is commonly used by neurologists. Romberg has developed several poses for checking balance and coordination.
Stand up straight. Your hands on your hips. Put your feet on the same heel to the toe line. Close your eyes. Last for 20 seconds. Change legs.
“Spin your head”
Stand on your toes, your hands on your hips. Eyes open! Make 4-6 circular rotations of the head.
Now try to do the same with your eyes closed.
Stand on one leg, your hands on your hips. Lean forward so that the body is horizontal to the floor. The second leg is stretched, if possible, also horizontally to the floor. Both legs should be straight! Eyes are open. Stand for 20 seconds.
If this exercise is easy for you, try to stand with your eyes closed. How are you feeling now?
“Walking along the line”
Practice walking as often as possible. Walk along curbs, narrow paths.
At home, you can unwind a sewing centimeter on the floor and walk around.
“Walking in place with your eyes closed”
Stand up straight. Indicate your position on the sides on the floor with some objects: put a pencil at a distance of a few centimeters from your feet or draw a line that you can then erase from the cover.
Close your eyes and walk in place for about a minute. Now open your eyes and see if you have shifted from your position or remained in place?
Besides the fact that this type of running helps to speed up metabolism, it also develops a sense of balance.
What do you need? Any elevation: chair, drawer. Get up on it and start running in small movements. The amplitude is very small. Eyes open.
This exercise if taken from yoga.
You need to stand up straight, raise one leg and place it with your foot on the inside of the thigh of the supporting leg. The knee of the bent leg should look to the side. The knee on the supporting leg is necessarily straight and pulled up. Try to stretch your body up. Hands – in front of you or folded over your head. It is recommended to stand in the tree pose for 30 seconds.
This exercise is performed with open eyes. If it’s easy for you, then close them. Everything will change right away!
“On your knees”
Get on all fours. Extend your right arm and right leg parallel to the floor. Wait about 30 seconds. Change position: extend your left arm and left leg.
A complicated option: extend the right arm and left leg. Then – on the contrary: left arm and right leg. It’s harder to stand like that.
“Rotation around your axis”
This is a modified exercise from Qigong Chinese gymnastics.
Stand straight, your hands on your hips. Start to rotate clockwise. Then try counterclockwise. The number of rotations for a beginner is no more than 2-4. The exercise is done with your eyes closed.
This exercise helps us to get more energy for the body and also brings peace. But do not overdo it!
Spread the entire length of the sewing centimeter on the floor. Stand straight at 0 cm, feet together. your hands on your hips. Try to go along the entire centimeter with a side step. Your eyes open.
And now do the same thing — but with your eyes closed.
“Hula hoop rotation”
It is a universal exercise that develops a sense of balance and coordination. It also allows you to reduce the waist.
You can rotate the gymnastic hoop not only at the waist but also under the knees, as well as on each arm individually.
“Book on your head”
It is a classic exercise: walking, squats, turns, etc. – any action with a heavy book on your head.
Look how graceful the inhabitants of Africa and Asia are! They got used to carrying a load on their heads. It seems that this is impossible: how can I hold several items on my head while riding a bicycle? But it turns out to be real!