Balance is something that is easy to take for granted but which is vitally important for everyday life.
What i am talking about here is your physical balance and how and why you need to make sure you keep working on it.
As a young girl I remember enjoying being good at balancing on things, walking across logs, on bench seats stuff like that that you try out as kids. also remember that my favourite thing to watch at the Olympic Games was the balance beam - I just found it endlessly amazing, especially the flips they do on it. Incredible.
My first love back then was ballet which of course is all about balance even though I probably was not that great as a ballerina. Still, looking back all that love of being able to balance and do physical things like that has also led me to martial arts.
Why is balance important?
Without strong balance it is difficult to exercise properly and it makes doing everyday tasks like picking things up or going up and down stairs, getting on and off public transport, even hanging out the washing difficult.
As we age, it is especially important to make sure you work on your balance as this also helps reduce incidence of falls.
Balance is an extremely important part of any martial arts activities and working on this will improve your footwork, kicks and other techniques.
What can I do to improve my balance?
An excellent way to practice and improve balance at any age is through learning arts such as Tai Chi or yoga.
Working on your balance is very easy and you can do simple exercises to improve your balance while cooking, cleaning or just taking a couple of minutes from your day to work on it.
The simplest exercise is to just stand with your feet together, place your hands on your hips. Pick a spot in front of you at eye level to focus on and simply lift one foot off the ground a few inches. See how long you can hold it up. The keys here are good posture, back straight, head up with eyes looking forward and keeping your body weight centred. Make sure you breathe slowly too.
If you find this easy, try to lift your knee up and hold it or bend the leg you are standing you on and see how that goes.
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