Everybody can benefit from balance training. Whether you’re a high school athlete or an active senior, balance training can help you in all walks of life. Today, we want to take a look a five non-traditional ways you can help improve your balance by targeting your feet.
Improving Your Balance
Here are five ways you can improve your balance that don’t just involve specific exercises in the weight room.
1. Balance Boards – As the name implies, balance boards are a great way to help you improve your balance and strengthen key muscles in your feet. You can find them at certain fitness stores or with a quick online search, and many people like jumping on the board while they’re watching television. Do balance board exercises over the course of a half hour TV show, and you’ll notice improvements in your balance in no time.
2. One-Legged Exercises – You can also work on your balance by doing some one-legged exercises. Stand on one foot, then bend down and touch the ground without falling. Do this a couple times with each leg, and incorporate one-legged stands in your daily routine when possible. If you’re on the phone or doing the dishes, try to stand on one leg for 30 seconds without losing your balance. Over time, this will become much easier.
3. Yoga – Yoga is another great way to improve your balance, and many people like it because it doesn’t feel like you’re working on your balance while you’re doing yoga. A number of people do yoga to clear their minds or just relax, but it really is a workout for your foot muscles and your body’s balance. If you join a yoga class, you’ll notice a big improvement in your balance from the beginning of the class to the end.
4. Dance – If you’re a football player, you’re probably thinking that there’s no way that you’re going to sign up for a dance class, but a number of professional football players say they take dance lessons in the offseason to improve their balance and footwork. Find a dance that you’d like to master and sign up with a friend or spouse. Not only will you have some new moves for the next time you’re at a school dance or wedding, but you’ll also improve your balance!
5. Outdoor Running – Running is a great way to improve your total body health, but outdoor running offers a few more benefits than running on a treadmill or around a track. Running outdoors means that your feet are going to hit the ground at slightly different angles due to the angle of the sidewalk or the rocks and dirt on the ground. Your foot has to adapt and react with each step, which helps to strengthen foot muscles better than running on a completely flat surface. Obviously you shouldn’t run on dangerous terrain where your ankle could roll or you could trip, but running down a dirt path will improve your balance quicker than running on a treadmill.