To Balance in Life . . . .

Life on earth is approached through various means of locomotion. There are fliers, crawlers, walkers, swimmers, floaters, gliders . . . these are basic modes of mobility. The focus on bi-ped walkers will be the focus, as balance is of key import regarding this specific mode of mobility. Bi-pedal mobility is supported through the intricate coordination of sensory receptors, that senses changes in muscle tension, and the brain, via the nervous system. As is evidenced by the aging process, these mechanisms are susceptible to deterioration. Exercise can help with maintaining the individual’s capacity to balance well into (their) later years.  

How balance facilitates and enhances living

The world is accessible to the individual from the time that they learns to walk. The baby must be taught what is and what is not acceptable to handle. The aging process finds the elderly person losing the ability to get from one point to another. Due to non-use of activities such as walking through a parking lot, going dancing(?), using stairs, etc . . . as time passes. The inability to transport one’s self depends on awareness of body placement in space – kinesthetic awareness. This awareness can be maintained throughout life. Balance is an important aspect of enjoying life.

The components and mechanisms of balance

What comprises balance? For sure, there are muscles. Yet, there are other mechanism which must interact with the muscles for the the effecting and effectiveness of the balance phenomenon. To start, The brain cognizes al incoming information. The vestibular aparati in the ears signal there degree to which the body is ‘upright’. The nervous system connects these (two) and the remainder of the body to each other. There are stretch receptors and tendon organs in the feet, ankles and shins and throughout the rest of the body. Receptors send muscle activation signals regarding the amount of muscle stretch to the brain and vestibular aparati. The tendon organ relays the amount of resistance needed to overcome a force that may compromise balance.

Balance and Focus
Stabilizing the core

Age related deterioration of the components of balance

Aging . . . happens. There is the bouyancy of birth / youth, the strength of adulthood, the decline of the elderly and . . . death. The declining stage merits examining. This is the stage where many decide to succumb to the ‘I am too old now’, ‘that is for younger folk’, ‘I used to be able to’ mindset. It is predominantly a mindset. Time does affect the body but it does not have to control the body. In developed countries, falls in older people represent a rising problem. An early predictor of the problem is needed for adequate amelioration of the problem to effected in a timely manner. Single stance instability appears to be a major risk factor. Measuring of the sensory components of single stance stability could be predictive of decay in antigravity movements. This could predict the risk of falling many years before it becomes evident. Adequate proprioceptive control could mitigate the effects of all other risks of falling. 

Muscle strength, tone, and efficacy of balance

The body is designed for movement. The human physiology construct is pretty old. The modern Homo sapiens is, approximately, 160,000 years old. What were these early humans of antiquity doing to survive day by day. They were moving. They were on their feet. There were no present day conveniences. Elderly people in some present day human groups are active up into their 80’s, 90’s, even 100’s. Using the faculties involved with balance facilitates them being functional, even into later life. Balance exercises can help improve posture, coordination, stability and build strength. These benefits can be key to reducing the chance of falling or bumping into things and causing an injury. Recovering from a fall quickly is not a characteristic of aging. It behooves one to take preventive measures. Exercise is very important and neglecting to participate in exercise can pose dubious consequences to being functional throughout a lifetime.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on

Being mobile is critical to having a functional life on earth. Balance is a mandatory quality to have for engaging in daily activities. The components of balance are finely woven together and function as a cohesive unit. Aging affects the body but the effects can be minimized when detected in a timely manner. Exercise and movement must be contributory to maintaining functionality throughout one’s lifetime.

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