10 Amazing things you need to know about your balance...
Great balance is not something that some 'lucky people' are just 'born with'... you can have it too!
We all want to know we are secure in our balance, secure on our feet and ready and able to meet all that life is going to give us. But this isn’t always the case, and in terms of balance, this is often something we take for granted until we realise one day that we just don’t have the balance we used to.
This conversation about your balance not being as good as it used to be is probably something that has never come up in conversations with your friends or maybe even your family, because people don’t want to talk about losing their balance. It is a bit of a strange one, and a conversation that is almost taboo-like. And because of this, there isn’t much information out in the world, and certainly not actionable information all in the right place for you to use.
What you read below is going to help you understand what is going on with your balance and how to do something about it, which is the Renaissance Movement and Strength Programme.
The programme has been trialled for 2 years with numerous participants, has been part of a successful pilot study that will be published later this year, and has been responsible for changing people’s lives.
We all come to wanting to improve our balance from different life experiences.
Maybe you are feeling that you aren’t strong enough in your ankles and hips to deal with uneven surfaces on roads.
Maybe you reached for something high up in your kitchen and just couldn’t keep the balance and strength necessary to get it
Maybe you have fallen over in the last little while. Remember, falling over isn’t the preserve of the elderly. Plenty of people from all walks of life and all ages slip and fall, and often break things, every year.
Maybe you are feeling the impact of being older than you feel and have suddenly realised your balance isn’t particularly good anymore?
Maybe you are recovering from an injury or something like M.E / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and you aren’t feeling secure on your feet yet.
And maybe you have a friend or relative for whom one or more of the above points is relevant.
How do you relate to your body and your balance?
What about your balance are you aware of, aren’t aware of, and want to do something about?
So... here are those 10 amazing things that you might not know about your balance
1. Your ability to balance is made up of a combination of your muscles (Strength, mobility), your eyes so you can place yourself in space (people with eyesight challenges have massively increased capability in all the other areas to compensate), your middle ear balance mechanism and your proprioception, your ability to ‘feel’ what is happening in your body and your ability to then adapt to different spaces. There is a lot going on.
2. The ability to balance, while a natural ability of us humans, doesn’t train itself to improve. Are you doing any exercises that are specifically aimed at your balance? Probably not. Standing on one leg for half a minute at a time is all very well but only trains you to stand on one leg for half a minute at a time, and is pretty useless when walking on slippery surfaces.
3. As you are getting older, your muscles are getting slower. I’m not talking older 65+, I am also talking older, 40+. Our fast muscle fibres disappear the quickest, and unless we do something specific about it, they don’t return. Have you been doing exercises for fast muscle fibres? Do you know what those exercises might look like? We do.
4. Have you been doing any strength work recently? Lifting weights or challenging yourself to get stronger? No? Then it probably means you are just naturally getting weaker. If we don’t train ourselves to get stronger, if we don’t train ourselves in strengthening ways, then we don’t get stronger. Seems like a simple and obvious thing to write, and it has a massive impact on our balance. It is amazing how surprised people are when, after not doing something that requires strength for years, they can’t do it.
5. Balance is an ability to remain upright through all the different planes of our body. But if we do strength work, it is mostly through the front plane of our body. There is a reason for this, and it is called the Mirror. We train the front of ourselves because that is what we see. But the reality is this isn’t going to help us in our life. There will be some knock-on effect, but nothing like if we trained across all planes. And in the Renaissance programme that is exactly what we do.
6. Our bodies change through repeating movement in the way we want to change. But if we are doing movement patterns without thinking about it, our bodies change in those ways too. Like sitting slumped while on the computer (he reminds himself while writing this sentence), slumped watching television, slumped while driving….etc. And this slump is the opposite of what we need to balance. We correct this.
7. Balance is a full body experience, not just one for your ankles and knees to deal with. There are lots of exercises out there for rehabilitation that are about strengthening your ankles and legs. But if your whole body isn’t engaged, then when something happens and you need to react positively, you won’t have trained in the right way. Our programme is all full body balancing.
8. The reason why you find balancing harder when you have consumed even a small amount of alcohol is that the alcohol changes the fluid in your middle ear, thereby changing your internal balance mechanism. The same thing sometimes happens when you are unwell.
9. The vestibular system, the balance mechanism in our middle ear, is something that can be trained. Seems a bit strange doesn’t it, training the fluid in the middle ear. But you can, and we have those exercises in our Renaissance programme. By the way, by training your vestibular system, you won’t be better at walking after drinking booze. Don’t want you to get your hopes up….
10. Finally……..what are you training your balance for? In the Renaissance programme, we are training balance for Daily Life and to prevent falls. One of our subscribers calls the programme her Daily Life Movement. And in training for this, we train for randomness, we train for the unexpected and the unannounced. If you see a fall coming, you won’t fall over. Falls happen when you don’t expect them to, so we need to train our balance for that situation. This is what the Renaissance programme does. We train for random events.
Who is the Renaissance Movement and Strength Programme for?
Renaissance is for anyone who wants to improve their balance, wants to feel confident on their feet when going to new places, and wants to feel stronger across their whole body in their daily life.
Renaissance is for anyone who is feeling their balance diminishing through age, through recovery from an illness or injury, or who has never thought about their balance and has decided to do something about it before it starts to impact their lives.
It is for anyone who wants to make a positive impact on their quality of life.
What is different about it?
The Renaissance programme is unique in that it specifically trains the skills of balance and proprioception and in particular for people who have never trained in this way before.
Renaissance is the only exercise programme available that is focusing only on your balance, through movement, strength and proprioception exercises.
Renaissance is a programme of relatively slow, focused and stepped movement exercises that build strength, range of motion and confidence in easy to follow ways, and in ways that you are always in control of.
No one should have poor balance. This is something that is easily rectified with our Renaissance programme.
These are the solutions we are providing
Better balance, when moving and when standing still
Stronger on your feet in general life activities.
More confident with your movement and more confident to go to unknown places
You will look better, because you will be moving better. People who move freely and with greater confidence just look awesome, no matter what their age.
Greater range of movement to do things. You will reach further, you will bend better, you won’t have to turn your whole body to pick something up. You will be able to get it easily just by turning.
You will be better prepared for unknown events, like a fall, because we are training you with random activities for random activities.
A couple of exercises you can start with to build better balance.
When you are standing still but doing something, the dishes, waiting for a bus or someone, move your weight from one foot to another. Do you know when you are standing completely on one leg? Do you know when you are right in the middle of both legs? This is building awareness in your balance.
When you are standing still in this exercise, move your feet so they aren’t next to each other. One is slightly, or not so slightly in front of the other. Now do the same exercise. It is harder, because how you move your body over your legs has become different than what you are used to, but this movement is much more like normal life positions. Try this in lots of different positions.
Take your shoes off and try these exercises without shoes. Most of the shoes you are wearing are giving your feet and ankles help in standing up, meaning you aren’t using your muscles and joints properly. You can keep socks on if you wish, but you need to start to ‘feel’ the floor through your feet.
Get on to the Renaissance MSP programme. Start slowly and move through all the sessions. You will blow yourself away with how good your balance will be after only a couple of weeks, and after the full sessions? Wow.
Now you have a much greater awareness of the physical process of balancing and what you can do about it if your balance is not so good, click below to buy the programme and start today.
Doing this programme will completely change your life!
"This programme is brilliant! It has changed my life in so many ways! I am so much more sure of myself when I'm out and about, I'm more adventurous, more confident, so I'm doing much more than I did before..."