Balance, when we’re young, is one of those things we take for granted. It’s pretty much an automated reflex for younger people, not something that requires conscious thought, therefore easy to neglect. As we age, weaker muscles and slower reflexes may upset our balance, bringing it (or the lack of it) to the forefront of our attention. The good news: Balance can almost always be improved with practice. But first, let’s see how your balance is now.
Take your shoes off and stand near something solid to grab in case you lose your balance. Without holding on, lift one leg behind you as you allow your upper body to slightly lean forward, and then bring the leg forward into a knee lift without setting it down. That counts as one repetition. Continue to flow through the two positions as many times as you can without losing your balance. This is not a fast movement; take about 4 seconds to move your leg between positions. The table below will give you a good feel for how many of these you should be able to do on your dominant foot. Those of you under 60 years old should do this with eyes closed. Over 60, keep them open.
|Stef’s Dynamic Balance Test|
*Eyes should be open for 60 years and older.
So, how did you do? If you think your balance needs more work, check out our workout videos – like this one! Strength training is important to keeping up your balance, too. So don’t neglect it! We have a great broomstick workout that will build strength and challenge your balance. See it here.