When fitness is part of your lifestyle, two goals are often front and center: becoming strong and staying strong. As an athlete and coach, I feel called to point out that you are only as strong and as safe as you are stable. While the activities we choose and our reasons for staying fit may differ, the benefits of a strong, healthy body are universal. For those of you who may be concerned about the quality of your training, let’s examine why stability work could be an asset you’re overlooking.
Practicing the motor skills needed to maintain posture in an unstable environment, or perform specific movements while your balance is challenged, is necessary for anyone who wishes to remain active and avoid setbacks! So before we sanction stability work to physical therapy, yoga practices or the like, let’s look at a few of the many advantages balance training provides us:
1. Injury Prevention. There’s nothing worse than an unfortunate injury that interrupts your training. Whether it be a slip and fall or a quick dodge to avoid an obstacle, our reflexes and reaction time play a huge role in protecting us from harm. But did you know that you can work to improve your reflexes? Stability training strengthens the motor neurons that can save you from those injuries caused by the unexpected. Let’s face it, when we love our routine, the last thing we want to deal with is forced time off.