So you're out there shopping for treadmills, home gyms, yoga mats, and bikes, as well as for gear for activities such as skiing and hiking. You want to burn calories, strengthen muscles, get flexible, run faster and be better at weekend pursuits.
But if you just look to buy that equipment and don't talk to your fitness store salesperson about balance training gear, you could be doing your fitness goals a disservice.
Why train balance
Balance is of course what keeps us upright and mobile. And although one doesn't ever think about training balance, every person should because it is what allows you to run, walk, skate, ski, hike or run around after the kids. That's because everyone balances for a millisecond with every step and, in active pursuits and exercise, good balance helps improve performance and staves off injury.
Plus, balance has to be practiced, particularly as we age. Watch some senior citizens shuffling down the street. The shuffle is often because they don't have enough sense of balance or strength to actually lift a foot and not fall.
Who hasn't sprained an ankle, tripped over a rock, or slipped on a wet or icy sidewalk? Better balance can keep the little twist or slip from becoming an activity-curtailing disaster.
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