This week on our podcast we discussed two more general physical skills: balance and coordination.
What is Balance?
- the ability to stay upright or in control of body movement
There are two types of balance:
- Static – maintaining equilibrium while stationary
- Dynamic – maintaining equilibrium while moving
Balance is primarily retained by use of our eyes, ears, and “body sense”.
What is Coordination?
- the ability to move two or more body parts under control, smoothly, and efficiently
Coordination is complex and requires:
- Good balance, strength, and agility
Both balance and coordination are neurological adaptations and can be improved through practice.
Obviously these two components of fitness can be important to sports but they also matter in daily function and longevity.
As we age we experience dysfunction/deterioration in the sensory systems (vestibular, visual, somatosensory, the cognitive system, and the musculoskeletal system.
These deteriorations lead to an increased risk in falls, which can lead to injuries which then impair quality of life, physical limitations, anxiety, loss of confidence, and fear of falling.
One of the largest components of maintaining or improving balance and coordination is our body’s ability to challenge it’s postural control systems in multiple dimensions.
Training these components of fitness have also recently been found to improve cognitive functions such as memory and spatial cognition.
To our “younger” clients you might think that much of what we’ve talked about doesn’t apply to you….
I would say YET.
But this stuff can’t just be “turned on” when you need it. Therefore if they are not practiced regularly, they are not developed or maintained.
This correlates well with the initial improvements clients make when they start a new exercise program. Much of their improvement in their initial weeks and months with us occur due to neurological development. Their body is developing the pathways necessary to move through the exercises more efficiently and effectively. If the body isn’t challenged to develop these pathways or maintain them, those pathways either won’t exist or will be dormant. This is why we believe CrossFit training is so beneficial for the general population as our training challenges these components of fitness on a regular basis.
Audio podcast link: https://anchor.fm/crossfit-metroeast/episodes/Balance-and-Coordination-Not-Just-For-Old-People-e1vp262
If you want to improve your balance and coordination or adopt a more inclusive fitness routine, book a free consult to talk about your goals and see if what we do is right for you. BOOK HERE.
The Effect of Balance and Coordination Exercises on Quality of Life in Older Adults: A Mini-Review
Balance & Coordination and Fitness