My balance was first tested in P90X with Yoga X. Standing on one leg was very difficult. My balance has been further tested and improved in P90X2 and Asylum Vol 1 and 2. When Shaun T asks you to stand on one leg and then close your eyes and you feel as if you’re on a rocking boat, Houston there is problem!
Here is a wonderful article by Jane Brody which appeared in the NY Times discussing balance and aging, a simple do-it-yourself test, and how to improve your balance!
Mr. McCredie wonders why balance is not talked about in fitness circles as often as strength training, aerobics and stretching. He learned that the sense of balance begins to degrade in one’s 20s and that it is downhill — literally and figuratively — from there unless steps are taken to preserve or restore this delicate and critically important ability to maintain equilibrium.
But while certain declines with age are unavoidable, physical therapists, physiatrists and fitness experts have repeatedly proved that much of the sense of balance can be preserved and even restored through exercises that require no special equipment or training. These exercises are as simple as standing on one foot while brushing your teeth or walking heel-to-toe with one foot directly in front of the other.
How good is your balance? Do the self-test and find out! That was a difficult test with your eyes closed. I was much more successful barefoot – going over 1:21 on my right leg and 34 seconds no my left. Wearing my cross-training shoes, I did 28secs and 24 secs on my right and left legs, respectively. That puts me in the 20-49yr old category. I’m 46yrs old so I definitely want to maintain this score!
“Remember, balance is a motor skill,” Dr. Moffat, professor of physical therapy at New York University, said in an interview. “To enhance it, you have to train your balance in the same way you would have to train your muscles for strength and your heart for aerobic capacity.”
And what else does Dr. Moffat recommend? Tai Chi! Beachbody has you covered with our program Tai Cheng which, I’m starting today with my 10yr old to help reduce his klutz-factor which he inherited from me!
I found this video on youtube which uses a scale from the RealAge website.
“Start free STANDING on hard surface with eyes open and two barefoot, lift one leg up to 45-degree angle bend in knee, THEN close eyes & HOLD this POSITION for as long as you can without falling, fidgeting, opening eyes or teetering too much. Repeat 3X or more, take average time & check chart.”
Balance Time Balance-Based RealAge
4 seconds 70 years
5 seconds 65 years
7 seconds 60 years
8 seconds 55 years
9 seconds 50 years
12 seconds 45 years
16 seconds 40 years
22 seconds 30-35 years
28 seconds 25-30 years