COREconnection: Tips Finding and Maintaining Balance

FITNESS FOCUS:  Balance is very important for our overall health and well-being.  Finding your balance and practicing balance exercises help decrease your chance of injury due to falls. Also, a balanced body  increases your ability to maintain proper alignment  allowing the muscles and joints to work more effectively and efficiently.  Here are some tips for finding and maintaining your balance:

#1:  Keep your eyes open!  Closing your eyes changes you equilibrium and causes you to sway back and forth.  It automatically makes balance more difficult.  It is better to keep the eyes open when beginning a balance routine.

#2:  Focus on something that DOES NOT MOVE!  With our eyes open, we can choose a focus point.  It is very important to choose a fixed point…not the wobbly person in front of you in your exercise class (or in the mirror at home, for that matter!)  By focusing on this point, the body begins to center itself on this point, making balance easier.

#3:  Stand on a firm surface.  That nice cushy exercise mat that you are standing on may hinder your balance practice.  Soft surfaces are less stable and cause the ankle and foot to wobble.  Although the thick mat is nice for those spinal rocking exercises, stand on a nice hard surface to get the maximum stability during balance practice.

#4:  PRACTICE:  Your balance will not improve without practicing good balance technique.  As you practice balance, you will be activating and strengthening your core.  Then, as you need balancing throughout the day, your body will react, using muscle memory, engaging the core to align and balance you.

And now for the PRACTICE:

Single Leg Stance:
Stand behind a chair
Hold onto the chair back with both hands
Slowly lift one leg off the ground
Maintain your balance standing on one leg for 5 seconds
Return to starting position and repeat X 5
Perform with opposite leg
 
Exercise Progression:
Follow these steps as your balance improves:
1)Hold onto chair back with only one hand
2)Stand near the chair for safety, but do not hold on
3)Progress finally to lifting your leg off the ground one inch higherComplete all three modifications to this exercise and your stability will be much improved.

FAITH FOCUS:  Balance in our spiritual life also takes practice.  But how?  How do we practice balance of our faith?  Again, there are some tips to help us do so:

#1:  Keep your eyes open:  When we are not aware of what we believe, when we close our eyes to the Truth of our lives in Christ, a balanced life becomes difficult.  This brings us to our next tip..

#2: Focus on something that DOES NOT MOVE:  With our eyes open to the Truth of our faith, we can choose a fixed point on which to focus.  Although we see many things in our lives that constantly change, God’s Word stands firm.  We are to fix our eyes on His Word and His will for us in our lives.  Deeply focusing on this will bring us into alignment and center us, making us more balanced.

#3:  Stand on a firm surface:  We must be firmly rooted in our faith.  We must believe that His Holy Spirit will center us, balance us, and keep us in alignment as we maneuver the imbalances of life.  Asking for God’s wisdom and discernment and believing we will have it in our lives grounds us, holds us steady in an unsteady world. 

#4:  PRACTICE: Daily practice of opening our eyes and focusing on God’s Word, asking in prayer for the Holy Spirit to firmly root us in God’s will , us into a centering, balance as we stand on the shifting sands of this world.

1 Corinthians 15:57-58 

 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

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