We often associate good balance with physical activity and athletic ability, but it is also an important skill that we all require to perform daily tasks. When you think about it, balance is required when you're standing up in the bus, stretching to reach something on a high shelf, or climbing a ladder. In fact, you're even balancing when you walk down the street! Once you realise what an integral role balance plays in our lives, you realise how important good balance is in order for us to function effectively and avoid injury. Read on to find out how you can benefit from balance training and how to choose the right balance trainer for you.
What is Balance?
Balance is the ability to control one's body position when stationary or moving, and it is actually a function of the nervous system that is influenced by the senses. In other words, your senses detect changes to your environment and react to stimuli to keep you stable on your feet when your balance is challenged.
There are two types of balance – static balance and dynamic balance. Static balance refers to your ability to remain stable while stationary, while dynamic balance refers to your ability to maintain postural control while moving. Both of these are skills that we require throughout the day, every day, and, if necessary, can be improved with balance training.
How Can Balance Training Help You?
Balance training offers a wide range of benefits and can be of advantage to you regardless of whether you're young or old. Here are just some of the ways in which balance training can help you:
Choosing a Balance Trainer
Selecting a balance trainer can be a confusing process, since there are various balance boards, discs, pads and trainer on the market to choose from. Your choice should ultimately be based on your end goals, since some balance trainers are better suited to certain outcomes than others.
Best Balance Training Equipment
To help you get started with balance training we have put together a list of some of the best balance trainers, discs, boards and pads.
The BOSU Balance Trainer Pro Home Package is a balance training kit containing the world-renowned BOSU (an acronym for Both Sides Up), two workout DVDs and a pump to inflate the dome. This balance trainer can be used for sports conditioning, injury rehabilitation, flexibility training and to build core strength.
The Sissel Dynamic Balance Board is a disc-shaped balance board that enables balance training within a 360° range of motion. This compact and versatile training tool can be used by just about anyone – young or old – for sports training, injury rehabilitation or simply to improve balance and co-ordination.
The Lateral Balance Rocker Board 0-12° Angles is a wooden board on an unstable fulcrum. It only enables side-to-side movement, making it a safer and easier option for beginners, children, the elderly and individuals that require balance training as part of injury rehabilitation.
The Pro11 Rehabilitation Balance Pad is an EVA foam pad designed for balance training. The pad is slightly unstable when you step on it, which forces you to engage your muscles to maintain stability. It can be used for balance and movement training, as well as to prevent and rehabilitate orthopaedic traumatological conditions.