What is Balance?

Balance-What is it? And what to do about it!

By: Jason Simanson P.E.S

“Nothing can rise higher than its source-nothing is evolved unless it is involved-nothing manifests in the effect, unless it is the cause”-unknown

 

Most of us have some sort of imbalance in our life, whether this is perceived or not. Balance is everything. In many cultures the cure to healing most illnesses is to assess where the imbalance is, why this imbalance has occurred and then to do the work necessary into order to re balance the system. Because everything in existence has both inner and outer parts I believe the most important thing to do is to follow the logic across the board and let nature tell us why being in balance is an essential key to both inner health, and physical health (to me these are one and the same). In this chapter we are only going to concern ourselves with what this means in relationship to our physiologic/al self’s and how to apply this to training, however, I urge you to do your research and see for yourself that inner balance is the key to a healthy and happy life.

If you have worked with me you would attest to the stressing point I put into balance first before anything else. With a balanced body, both in general and in motion, life is more fun, learning new skills is easier and reaching goals is more achievable. Training your balance can be a frustrating thing once you realize how bad it probably is, however, once you put the simple work into it, it will increase your ability to do everything else and this is extremely rewarding.

Now let us take a deeper look into the science of balance, what it is and how to train it, and again, if you are diligent about training your balance EVERYTHING will substantially improve. First it is imperative to understand that to truly enhance your balance you need to know 2 things. The first thing to know is quality over quantity, and the second being the ability to assimilate all neural signals in the brain’s processing center.

The balance we are after comes from the brain and not the body. The brain receives signals from the eyes (visual system), the inner ear (vestibular system), and your proprioceptive nerves in the body (proprioceptive system) during movement in order to justify or interpret an action. When all three of these areas are challenged with the intent on signal quality, then the brain can assimilate this information in the processing center at a high performance level. Because these three systems are so important to movement, when any one of these three systems is not working optimally, it can cause a host of problems to your physical body including joint dysfunctions, excess muscle tension, and overall movement problems which will not go away until this balance problem is addressed.

Here is a list of reasons correlated with proper balance in the brain and the physical result of being balanced. You can make it easier to improve muscle tone and posture (which is vital to breathing!). You slowly start to lesson nagging muscle tension throughout the body which will inherently eliminate joint dysfunction and pain. And of course when these are in order you will substantially increase your strength and motor skills which will lead to enhanced performance at any level.

Because balance is the key ingredient to all movements, irrespective of whether or not strength, speed, flexibility, or endurance dominates the movement; maintenance of postural equilibrium-balance-is a required process one must train regularly for better muscle balance, joint dynamics, and neuromuscular efficiency.

The importance of properly training the balance apparatus cannot go underrated in your training program. An individual’s limit of stability is the distance outside of the base of support that he or she can go without losing control of their center of gravity. Remember, all balance is happening in the brain, not the body, so in order to train this onset we have to safely and precisely train the brain then the body. Balance training can be done simply by training the eyes and moving the head around (in a safe position that is), then adding some very functional movements with appropriate progressions. An example would be to stand still with correct posture and nod your head while moving your eyes into the opposite direction then to add walking to this. After that you may find a simple exercise such as standing on one leg with internal and external hip rotations (note-these are only suggestions, do not attempt this without a certified trainer to help guide you through the progression of such exercises).

Balance and neuromuscular efficiency are improved through repetitive exposure to a variety of multisensory conditions and because of this our programs at One Nature Training are loaded with such exercises in order to improve the overall functionality of the body’s systems as a whole. I cannot stress enough how vital it is to do your research and find out for yourself the truth on balance and being balanced as a whole. Nothing comes easy, especially when it comes to training and sometimes the most tedious task is the best task to go with in order to improve everything else in our lives.

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