We usually don’t really think about what balance is and how it aids our day to day life. The reality is that we use balance almost every second of our day in order to do simplest tasks. Getting up from a bed, bringing a spoon to our mouth, turning around and so on are tasks that we all do with ease all thanks to balance. Our sense of balance comes from our inner ear and any changes in our body are detected and sent from the inner ear to the brain where the brain corrects our balance by sending electric signals to our muscles. Where there is an alteration in with any of those systems, problems with our balance may occur. Problems with balance usually involve dizziness and a feel of being unsteady.  Such problems may manifest itself as a feeling of movement while we are sat still or lying down. There are many reasons why balance problems can occur, they can be induced by illnesses, old age or trauma. Vertigo is a sense of motion or spinning where this is not the case. This can be induced by simple things as migraines or motion sickness but it may be also a result of head trauma or specific diseases or conditions. In addition to balance induced problems there are many people that may benefit from improving their balance and overall awareness of their body.

Improving balance

There are multiple approaches that can be taken including physiotherapy for those who have problems with their balance and suffered from a condition. There is usually more enjoyable ways to improve balance especially for people with less severe problems, old people and just people who want to have better control over their balance. Exercise is one of the most effective ways of improving balance. Strengthening your core and legs is a good beginning in order to be able to have finer balance. There are multiple ways that this can be done. There are so many choices of how to exercise these days! There is something for everyone. Whether you want a fast passed strenuous exercises or much lower intensity exercises or may be perhaps some fun exercises as dancing, they are sure to benefit your overall strength and balance. Usually exercises that pay attention to the whole body as working as one are the best for balance improvement.  Martial arts and yoga are often very good choices in order to develop your senses of how your body sits in your surroundings. Tai chi is a great choice as it can benefit a great range of people from young to old and from those with more serious health problems to those who just want to improve their balance.

slav-demonstrates-balanced-position

Balance and Tai Chi

Tai chi has been gaining a lot of popularity in the west in the past couple of decades. This art originates from China and it has been a family led tradition throughout the past five centuries.  Tai chi is a unique system as it is characterized by slow and graceful movements unlike most of the martial arts that involve fast and rapid movements. One of the best qualities of Tai Chi is its adaptability to any age and fitness level.

Tai Chi is extremely beneficial for our balance as it includes the physical components to stay upright. These includes leg strength, reflexes, range of motion, and flexibility. The specific movements that the art involves include deliberate footwork that brings more awareness to the sole and ankle of the feet and make us more sensitive to the weight distribution of our body over our feet therefore allows us to have finer balance overall. The constant flowing movements of Tai Chi, the weight shift from one position to another make us more familiar with being able to balancing in motion. With persistent practice our body becomes more sensitive and more aware of our balance and builds up strength to maintain it.

Whether balance correction is needed due to a condition or we just want to improve overall control of our balance, Tai Chi is an excellent way to do so. Its adaptability allows for range of ages to be able to practice and enjoy its benefits.

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