Keeping Fit And Balanced
You would imagine that the last thing a person who is wobbly on their feet needs to be is off balance, but it seems that somehow keeping off balance while exercising actually helps retrain the brain and enables you to become fitter.
There is a lot of equipment available that helps with balance training to improve your core strength, agility and mobility. This is especially helpful for the elderly, stroke victims and people needing rehabilitation after serious injury.
Recent research spearheaded by John Hopkins University shows that stroke victims can become fitter and have improved brain function by walking on a treadmill. One patient in the trial even benefited 20 years after suffering a stroke. So think how your treadmill session is helping you, and if you combine it with a virtual technology game you might enjoy it more too.
Therapists are now using specialized modern virtual technology equipment combined with treadmills or large balance platforms for rehabilitation. Stroke victims or others needing physical & occupational therapy can play games, shop, walk in the country, sail, water-ski and so on, all virtually. The patients often work harder and for longer than in a conventional therapy session, and have a lot more fun.
The virtual reality fitness games available commercially are obviously not at the same level of complexity, but they may help you enjoy your exercise session a lot more when you are stuck indoors in the winter.
Reflexology Walking Path
All over Asia are cobblestone walking paths that people, especially the elderly, use to help keep themselves fit and healthy. Research from Oregon concluded that even walking on a cobblestone mat improved physical function and reduced blood pressure in the elderly more than regular walking. They use the same principles as reflexology, which uses the feet to heal the whole body.
Of course you don't have to be elderly to get the health benefits! If you live near Seattle, you can try out a reflexology walking path in the Marymoor or White Center Parks. Reflexology walking mats are available on the internet and you could use a few to create a walking path in your yard, or build your own path from pebbles and small stones.
Balance Boards And Balls
There are a large variety of balance, slide and wobble boards available to help you in your fitness routine. Fitness balance balls can also be fun, and there are videos & DVD's that show you how to incorporate the ball into your workout. Many people also enjoy sitting on them instead of a regular chair to help keep their back straight, or buy a modified version for the office. Some types of balance balls even come with ‘ears' or handles so that you can have fun bouncing around on them while you work out.
Remember if you have fun when you work out, you are more likely to stick to an exercise routine, and get and stay fit.