Balance training remains a top trend in the fitness industry. According to The Centers for Disease Control over 18,000 older adults died from unintentional falls in 2007, and the rate has risen over the past decade. Balance is a critical area for older adults, but it is also a crucial component of athletic performance, and can help everyone improve core strength and joint stability. Balance training has been shown to reduce the rate of falls in all age groups, and it also helps to improve your coordination and posture.
Most instructors and trainers now include some aspect of balance training in each workout. Adding balance work can help you burn more calories and forces you to activate your core. There are a variety of “toys” you can employ to train for balance (several are pictured), but you do not need equipment to improve. Try to stand on one foot while talking on the phone, lifting weights or brushing your teeth. If that is too difficult place your feet very close together, or put one foot right in front of the other. Once you can master standing on one foot try to do it with your eyes closed. Practice for just a few minutes each day and you will be amazed at how quickly your balance improves.