Let’s talk about balance. Not the typical balance I talk about involving a healthy lifestyle, but your sense of balance. We don’t give it much thought except for when we trip and sometimes I’m crazy clumsy. In our day-to-day lives, we don’t think about our balance much at all, but it’s always there, keeping us upright and safe.
Balance is a core component of our physical health, and a weakened sense of balance is seen as a worrying sign. Furthermore, when we lose our sense of balance, we begin to realize how vital it is to our everyday lives. Let’s check out more about our balance, the role it plays in our health and fitness, and what to do if your sense of balance is in need of a tune-up.
Balance Is a Sense
The majority of people believe they have five senses, so the term “a sense of balance” may sound weird. However, your balance is a sense, just like hearing, touch, eyesight, and so on. We actually have far more senses than the common five most of us are taught at school, and balance is a particularly important one too.
Balance Is an Entire System
Balance is part of a bodily system known as the vestibular system. Vestibular disorders are actually rather common; examples include concussion, Meniere’s Disease, and tinnitus.
Your Inner Ears are Vital for Balance
Oddly enough, one of the primary signs of a severe ear infection is a loss of balance. This is because the inner ear plays a vital role in maintaining our sense of equilibrium, and when our inner ear is compromised, our balance suffers.
Balance can be Improved
Many people believe that a sense of balance is innate, and your individual sense of balance is what it is and cannot be improved. “Oh, she’s always so clumsy.” But that’s not true. There’s plenty that you can do to improve your balance. Younger people can try yoga and pilates to help improve their balance; while senior physical therapy will usually involve some element of balance work. While it may take time to improve, it is possible if you’re willing to continue to work at it.
Your Toes are Vital for Balance
Your toes have a vital role to play in maintaining your sense of balance, and particularly your big toe. When we walk or run, our big toe actually bears around 40% of our overall weight, with the rest spread between the remaining four toes. So look after your big piggie— it has a vital role to play in keeping you upright!
You Can Totally Improve Your Sense of Balance
Improving your sense of balance is totally possible. If you’ve always thought of yourself as a clutz, rest assured that you can change your balance.