The delicate balance of balance and what happens when it becomes difficult.
Updated: Jun 3
Our physical balance, our ability to stay upright on two legs while standing still, while moving across even and uneven ground, is often taken for granted. And it really is only when this subconscious action is suddenly less capable and has decreased in some way, that we begin to take notice of it and begin to understand the impact it has not just on our physical lives, but on our psychological lives as well.
Our capacity to balance and to move around exists as a combination of a number of things working across our body. Our physical strength across our body and our joint mobility, our proprioception, our capacity to ‘feel’ our body in space and to respond to our environment, using our eyes to see where we are going and finally our vestibular system, that part of the inner ear that provides a major role in giving us our sense of balance and spatial orientation in coordinating movement with balance. There are lots of variables.
All of these elements work in concert, more or less, and give us our ability to balance and move through space. This is a delicate harmony of elements as you will know if you have had a couple of glasses of wine or equivalent, and you don’t quite have the balance you would normally expect, or if you close your eyes then try to balance on one leg, even without a glass of wine.
The elements of proprioception, eyes and vestibular processes all rely on the structure of the body’s strength in soft tissue and joint mobility to work at optimal capacity. An analogy here might be that your car engine, body, gearbox etc…. might be working brilliantly, but your tyres and brake pads need replacing. If you don’t have quality pads on your brakes and your tyres are worn through to the tread, you can drive the car, but you will be getting a small percentage of output from it.
When people find their ability to balance beginning to decrease, it is usually because they have decreased strength in their legs and torso. But also remember, balance strength isn’t just about the legs and a restriction in their joints. There are a range of factors involved.
What many people don’t realise is that no matter what your age, you can increase your strength and joint mobility. If the delicate harmony of your balance is disrupted by decreased strength, you can do something about it. This is what our Renaissance programme does. We improve your balance through strength and movement exercises that also engage with your proprioception.
To buy our Renaissance programme click here