Belong - August 16, 2016
Work on Your Balance with Curves
Tightrope walkers must perfect the art, ballerinas, too. Skaters depend on it, and so do you. Good balance is essential not only to the art of the athlete but to the everyday lives of everyday people. We rely on our balance to walk, go up and down stairs, rise up on our tippy toes to reach a dish stored on the highest shelf, even standing requires good balance. Think about watching your grandbaby trying to stand on her own for the first time. She wobbles and then plops on her bum.
You’ve been steady on your own two feet for so many years, you might just take it for granted, but balance is not to be overlooked or underappreciated because when we lose it, the distance to the floor is much farther than it was when you were nine months old and that plop on the bum just might break a hip.
Simple things like climbing the steps to your neighbor’s porch, walking on a trail, sitting down or getting up out of a chair become more challenging and maybe even a little scary when you’re feeling unsteady.
Balance tends to decline with age as we lose muscle and flexibility, but it’s not just strength and suppleness that keep us steady. Balance is a remarkable feat—an intricate coordination of your sensory, nervous, and muscular systems. Cues from what you see, feel, and touch travel to your brain, which processes all of that information and then signals your muscles to make adjustments to keep you upright as you move through your home, the office, or the great outdoors. And it all happens at lightning speed.
Better Your Balance at Curves
You learned balance as a kid and you need to practice it as an adult to keep in tip-top shape, and the Curves Balance Class* will help you do just that. This class is built on the Curves circuit. In between each strength machine, you will move into a single-leg position like the tree pose from yoga and you will hold that pose for 30 seconds.
“Remember, balance is a mind-body skill,” says Hanna Karass, Vice President of Programs and Science for Curves. “You need to focus. Steady your mind to steady your body.
“And engage your core muscles,” adds Karass. “They are your body’s key stabilizers.”
If you feel too unsteady on one leg, simply touch your other foot lightly to the ground for stability, but make it your goal to eventually perform each pose single-footedly.
The beauty of good balance isn’t just that you’ll prevent yourself from falling, you’ll also gain the confidence to step up your activity. Maybe you’ll even learn to skate, or dance, or--walk a tightrope?
*Scheduled at participating locations only