If you come to my classes, you already know it’s something we regularly do at the start of our sessions and sometimes, it goes well and sometimes . . . well, you’ve all seen me wobble!
But practice does make perfect and the good thing about balance is you can improve it and it’s one of the easiest and quickest exercises to do at home as well as in class.
Health expert and former medic, Dr Michael Mosley, told readers of the BBC Science Magazine he practices while brushing his teeth, I’m not sure I’d recommend that as for me, and many others, balance requires full concentration.
Balance matters because although it’s something you’re trying to achieve physically, doing it is working your brain – especially when, while standing on one leg, you move your other leg or your opposite arm.
It makes your brain work even harder if you try to stand balanced on one and close your eyes for a short time.
Dr Mosley was commenting on scientific research, published a couple of years ago which showed links between good balance and longevity, so that’s reason enough to keep trying.
And I know, from what many of you have said to me that one of the great benefits of our sessions has been better balance. You’ve really noticed the improvement in yourselves and tell me you can now stand steady for longer than you could before. And that’s great news!
This little video taken at one of my classes shows just what you can do if you work at it, so well done that group!
And if you want a guide on what you should be aiming for – Dr Mosley said this:
Under 40s: 45 seconds with eyes open, 15 with eyes closed
Under 50s: 42 open, 13 closed
Under 60s: 41 open, 8 closed
Under 70s: 32 open, 4 closed
Under 80s: 22 open, 3 closed
My thoughts on that is if you’re at Pilates and you’re over 80, you’ve probably got longevity sorted! But without anyone giving away their age, you know what to aim for in class and at home!