Adding a balance board routine doesn’t need to require you to set time aside from your busy schedule or plan out a fitness routine, it can easily be incorporated into your existing daily schedule. Whether you plan to add balance training to your exercise regimen, rehabilitation program, or daily work routine, adding stability/balance training can have numerous benefits. Improving your balance and stability can aid in rehabilitation, improve posture, reduce risk of injury, enhance coordination, and increase functional strength. Plus, it’s fun and easy to do.
Balance boards can be used alongside other strength exercises to maximize workout efforts, placed under a standing desk, or can be used while completing everyday household tasks, such as washing dishes, folding laundry, or simply watching TV.
Now that we have covered how easy it is to begin balance training, let’s dive back into the health benefits of a balance board.
Increasing your functional strength will reduce the likelihood of suffering from injures or potential falls – especially for seniors.
Now what do we mean by functional strength? Functional strength is a term used to define the strength needed to preform everyday activities that get you through life. Balance training fits in by building tissues in muscles that get used on a regular basis. By working to stabilize your body and maintain your equilibrium you will need to build strength in your core, back, glutes, and leg muscles. This increase in functional strength will in return reduce the likelihood of you experiencing a fall or pulling a muscle due to muscle fatigue and impaired reflex time. This is especially true in ankle-related injuries. In fact, a study published by the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that when high school athletes who had a history of ankle sprain participated in a balance training program, they reduced they risk of an ankle sprain by a half, whereas those in the control group increased two-fold.
Whether you suffer from a sports injury or a work-related injury, anyone can benefit from introducing stability training into their rehab programs. Physical therapists will often incorporate both static and dynamic balance training into injury recovery programs. Where static balance training involves supporting your posture while standing still and dynamic balance training involves trying to stay balanced during movement.
Poor posture is a common problem you will mostly likely face at won’t point or another. In fact, the odds are pretty high you currently have a posture problem. Poor posture is a result of muscle imbalances, excess body weight, sitting for long periods of time or an injury. Building up strength in your core, back, and shoulders, can help correct your posture, reducing back pain, neck pain, pain in weight bearing joints, as well as other health effects.
Using a balance board is a great way to build up postural muscle strength. Plus, if you are using the balance board at a standing desk it will not only build strength, it will also reduce time spent sitting. Sounds like a win-win.
In addition to building strength, you will also want to perform some static stretching exercises in addition to the balance board to fully correct postural imbalances by stretching out tight muscles. We recommend visiting Men’s Health for a list of stretches you can do.
One of the main benefits of using a balance board is the increase in core strength and the associated positive effects. As previously mentioned, improved core strength can aid in correcting postural issues, but it can also help reduce low-back pain. Since your abs are the front attachment point for your spine, if your abs are weak your back muscles will be forced to work harder. This imbalance can lead to tight back muscles and a misaligned spine causing increased back pain overtime. Using a balance board to increase muscle strength in your abs and oblique’s will help correct back pain due to muscular imbalances.
Good coordination is something you need to complete even the most basic everyday tasks. In order to stay centered and upright your entire body must work together.
Using a balance board at work will help you power through those mid-work day slumps by keeping you on your toes. Where a seated desk provides the perfect cozy environment for catching some zzzz’s, it’s much more difficult to start nodding off while you are moving since you need to remain alert and aware of your body positioning to remain stable.
Let’s face it, exercising is always easier when you are having fun. And how could you not have fun rocking around while you work?
Balance boards come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You’ll want to determine both where you plan on primarily using your balance board as well as what your overall balance training goals are prior to choosing a balance board.
You may be thinking, which balance board is best for me? You’ll find that some boards are designed for use during more intense exercise regimens, where others are for use in an office environment to be paired with a standing desk. Typically, a balance board for a standing desk will allow for minimal amounts of movement letting you focus on office tasks rather than having to focus on remaining stabilized. An office balance board would also be recommended for seniors since they have less extremes in movement.
However, whichever board you choose will deliver the health benefits listed above and get you moving toward a healthier you.
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