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3 Ways to Get Better Balance

Bad balance can throw you off your game, while good balance can improve your body's performance and fitness levels. Get-Fit Guy has 3 ways to get better balance.

By
Ben Greenfield
3-minute read
Episode #154

3 Ways to Get Better Balance

Now that you understand each of the different body systems necessary for optimal balance, it’s time for some quick and dirty tips that enhance each of these 3 components:

Tip #1: For Better Vestibular Balance, You Should...

  • Avoid loud music, loud sounds, and cell phone radiation near your head.
  • Go unshod as much as possible, or use minimalist footwear.
  • Balance on one leg while keeping your gaze on something stationary, then eventually train yourself look at objects farther away, then progress to closing your eyes completely, and finally add an unstable surface to the mix.

Tip #2: For Better Somatosensory Balance, You Should...

  • Practice standing one legged or two legged on unstable surfaces such as wobble boards, thick balance mats, or balance disc pillows.
  • Do side or front leg kicks with a band or a cable, while standing without arm support on the opposite foot.
  • Do double and single leg exercises on a mini-trampoline or vibration platform.
  • Stand on one leg at elevation, such as on a stair, park bench, or step platform. Elevated surfaces send an instant cue to your brain that you’re in danger, and can upregulate quality and frequency of proprioceptive cues.

Tip #3: For Better Visual Balance, You Should...

  • Avoid long periods of time staring at computer screens without breaks, or wear blue light-blocking “gamer” glasses if you have lots of planned or required screen time.
  • Use apps like Awareness, WorkRave, Time Out, and ProtectYourVision that remind you to briefly stop working, or to focus your vision elsewhere.
  • Play a sport that requires eye tracking, such as soccer, golf, tennis, basketball, or even ping-pong.
  • Sleep 7-8 hours per night, which allows your visual system to relax and relieve eye strain.
  • Try the Bates Method, a series of eye exercises designed to strengthen the muscles in the eye but also to strengthen the mental connection between the brain and the eye.

Once you begin taking care of your vestibular, somatosensory, and visual systems, you’re going to find that movement such as running becomes far less awkward. As a bonus, you’ll also find that you may get better at sports and move more gracefully. Your body will be more tuned for getting fit faster!

If you have more questions about ways to get better balance, then join the conversation at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy!

Athlete balancing and push-up images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.