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Importance of Balance Training for Sports and Elderly

 Importance of Balance Training for Sports and Elderly

Sports Nutritionist Krupali Shah

Importance of Balance Training for Sports and Elderly by Sports Nutritionist Krupali Shah
Importance of Balance Training for Sports and Elderly by Sports Nutritionist Krupali Shah

Balance Basics

Balance training enhances body awareness and movement efficiency. The more you use balance boards, the better your agility and reaction skills become, resulting in better athletic performance and a reduced chance of injury. Proprioception is the body’s awareness of its own motion and position. It’s essential to enjoyable and injury free running and is the secret to optimum performance. Understanding and developing your proprioceptive sense is the first step on the journey towards awakening the skill of natural movement.

Proprioception and Balance

Taken as a whole, proprioception includes balance, coordination and agility because the body’s proprioceptors control all these factors. Proprioceptors consist of both sensory and motor nerves that send and receive impulses to and from the central nervous system from stimuli within the skin, muscles, joints and tendons (Houglum 2001). These impulses transmit vital information, such as the amount of tension in a given muscle and the relative position of a body part during a given movement. By improving their proprioception, clients can gain the balance skills necessary to maintain stability; hone their agility so they can quickly change direction when necessary; and fine-tune coordination skills so they can perform physical activities accurately and consistently. Proprioception exercises reduce the risk of injury by teaching the body to react appropriately to sudden changes in the environment. A good sense of proprioception is vital for many fitness activities, especially some of the more advanced core-training classes.

Special Considerations

When designing any proprioception training program, you need to consider the client’s age, body weight, level of competition and footwear. During proprioceptive activities, children under the age of 16 are at a higher risk of injury than adults because their central nervous systems are not fully developed; information is not transmitted quickly enough to provide the necessary safeguards against excessive body stresses. Older adults have a similar problem because message transmissions to and from the central nervous system tend to slow with age. Both children and seniors are also more prone to injuries during proprioception training because they tend to have less muscular strength than adults.

Equipments that improve balance

1. BOSU Ball

Bosu Ball Squats Bosu upside down. Sports Nutritionist Krupali Shah


2. Beam Balance

beam balance-sports-nutritionist-krupali-shah
Beam Balance-Sports Nutritionist Krupali Shah



3. Balance Boards

Balance Boards-Sports Nutritionist Krupali Shah


4. Thera Band

thera band Sports Nutritionist Krupali Shah
Thera Band – Sports Nutritionist Krupali Shah

5. Bongo Boards

bongo board-sports-nutritionist-krupali-shah
Bongo Board – Sports Nutritionist Krupali Shah


Role in Sport

1.Dancing requires quick changes in positioning of the body, especially in the feet, ankles, knees and hips. Because the eyes are not fixated on a single point, good balance is necessary to make smooth, complete moves.

2. Fighting stances, execution of kicks and punches, and movement require perfect balancing. Typical balance exercises for martial arts training include leg lift, knee on the bag, handstand, and one leg stand.

3. Soccer is an unpredictable game. Players constantly change direction, absorb contact and land on potentially uneven surfaces. The drills (Single-Leg Resisted Front Kicks, BOSU Jump and Kick, etc) will improve your overall balance so you can stay in control during games.

Balance for Elderly

Elderly Balance Exercise Safety Guidelines

1. Make sure you check with your doctor if you suspect a more serious balance problem involving vertigo, ear infections, Meniere’s disease, chronic dizziness or drug interactions.

2. If you are working with a senior with poor balance or the frail elderly, make sure they are closely supervised at all times.

3. Progress to the next exercise when the preceding one can be done safely or if you have enough assistance.

4. Be aware of your posture. Try to maintain your weight over your ankles.

5. Avoid fast movements including quick turns or changes in position.

6. Use a chair as a place to not only perform seated exercise but also to hold on to while standing.

7. Hold on with your finger, one hand or two hands.

8. Always get up slowly when rising from a chair.

9. Don’t close your eyes when exercising or standing at your chair.


Few Balance Exercises for Elderly:

1. Single Limb Stance

2. Eye tracking

3. Clock Reach

4. Balancing Wand

5. Knee Marching (less)


By #Sportsnutritionistkrupali

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About Krupali Shah

Graduate in Biochemistry and currently pursuing second year in MSc Sports Nutrition. Indepth passionate knowledge in the field of Nutrition, Exercise, Lifestyle related disorders, Fitness, Wellness and so on. Accomplised major projects on Balance Training, Effect of Antioxidant Supplementation on Exercise Performance, and Pilates Exercises for Core Strength. Did Internship at "Qi lifecare" and "Asian Heart City Center" exposing to different forms of exercise and has counseled people visiting the rehabilitation center. Worked as a Nutritionist at "Your Fitness Club", Borivali, took Assessments and Diet recalls of people visiting the gym. Currently working on the "Biggest Fitness Revolution through Zumba Dance Fitness" focusing on the parameters like: 1. weight 2. inches 3. cardiovascular endurance 4. muscular strength and endurance 5. stress 6. diet 7. fat loss Fitness Testing before beginning any physical activity is must because it is an indicator of overall health. Above parameters are checked before beginning any activity and would be monitored at regular intervals to complete the research work.

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