Body balance exercise improves an individual’s equilibrium. It’s prominent in older populations because of decreases in strength and proprioception levels (a sense of body awareness). It’s also beneficial to athletes whose activities require increased body control and balance.
Body balance exercise can improve equilibrium because it increases strength levels and improves proprioception. Exercises typically put individuals in challenging situations where they must overcome some limitation, such as an uneven floor surface or standing on one leg.
Benefits for Older Individuals
Participating in regular body balance exercise has scientifically been proven to decrease the chance of falls. It also lessens the chance of injuries that may occur from sudden loss of balance, such as twisting a knee during recovery or breaking a wrist in a catch attempt.
Benefits for Athletes
The increase in proprioception and strength from body balance exercise helps athletes improve their coordination and makes them more efficient in their movements (they require less energy to complete a task).
While more advanced exercises can utilize free weights, trampolines or other gym equipment, a simple body balance exercise program requires no special accessories and can be done easily in the home. Some individuals may require a chair as a safety measure to assist with more difficult exercises.
It’s important to note that while participating in regular body balance exercise will improve one’s balance, it does not provide efficient caloric expenditure or any cardiovascular benefits. It will not help one lose body fat or improve heart health.