Are your workouts well-rounded? When considering what constitutes a comprehensive exercise routine, it’s common to think primarily of cardio and weight training. And although these types of activities are essential for overall well-being, they don’t represent all the fitness factors necessary for a healthy and strong body.
Balance is a major building block of fitness. It’s necessary for moving safely and securely through daily activities such as walking, stair climbing, or even stopping a fall on an icy sidewalk. It’s vital for preserving independence as we age, and during such balance-altering life events as pregnancy. Since becoming pregnant, I’ve noticed the profound effect that a slight shift in the body’s center of gravity can have on my balance. It’s given me a renewed sense how important stability strengthening exercises are.
It’s easy to forget about balance training, especially because most exercisers don’t know exactly how to improve balance. If you are a gym-goer, chances are you’ve seen that inflated, circular, blue Bosu ball collecting dust in the corner. It’s a great toning tool for enhancing balance, but if you’ve never used this device, it can be intimidating at first. And it’s quite pricey to purchase for at-home use.
To work around these deterrents, I’ve created a balance-building workout that can be completed from the comfort, convenience, and privacy of your home. An added bonus: It’s free. All you need is a medium or large pillow that you don’t mind standing on. You’ll need a pillow wide enough to allow you to stand with your feet hip-width apart, and one with adequate stuffing to challenge your balance.
These movements work best in socks or bare feet. Stand near a wall or sturdy surface for extra support. As your balance improves, you’ll need that support less and less.
When you practice stability-strengthening moves, life is less likely to catch you off balance.