N E W S L E T T E R
On the Field, On the Mountain, and In Life—It’s All About Balance It doesn’t matter if you’re a competitive athlete, an amateur but committed gym- goer,orsimplysomeonewho’s lookingtoenjoya littlesportsand leisurefromtime to time. In order to get the most out of your training, avoid injury, and perform at your best (not to mention maintain a long, healthy, and active life), keeping your balance on point is essential! For sports like snowboarding, where balance plays a leading role in safety, performance, and overall enjoyment, improving your ability to feel and control your body in space becomes instrumental. Let’s take a look at a few special considerations for balance and gait as it relates to anyone in your life who loves some fresh powder. Snowboarding With Balance: Tips for Snowboarders and Other Athletes Beingable tomaintainyourbalance inavarietyofactivitiesandpositionsrequires coordinatedactionofyourvision,sensation,musculoskeletalsystem,andvestibular system. To help all these elements work together, it’s helpful to train your core strength,armand legstrength,stamina,endurance,flexibility,agility,andhand/eye coordination. Such improvements with your overall physical ability can translate into other sports and your life in general, especially as you age. The following suggestions are some additional ways to improve your balance for snowboarding in particular (although any type of active person can benefit from them, too): • Experiment with balance tools such as slack line, Indo boards, and Balance Bars • Be sure to add in some single-leg exercises in the gym, including step ups, back and front lunges, jump rope, agility ladder drills, and single leg kettlebell deadlifts • Start a regular practice of yoga or Pilates (these exercises also teach you many other essential components to balance, including mental focus and breathing) • Consult with a physical therapist—these licensed and board-certified clinicianscanoffersport-specificand individualizedbalanceskillsanddrills, as well as range of motion and strengthening exercises which help you address your unique physical imbalances BALANCE AND GAIT FOR SNOWBOARDERS
Pleasenotethat it’salwaysagood ideatoconsultwithyourphysicianbeforestarting a new exercise program. In addition to the above tips, a few other strategies can be employed to increase your balance and physical health from a more general and holistic standpoint. Heed this advice for maximum well-being at any stage of life! • Standandwalkmore.Sittingtoomuchcanweakenyourcoreand leadtoback pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, and other issues which can seriously disrupt a day on the slopes. Park your car far away from buildings, take the stairs, invest in a stand-up desk, and in general try to get some more movement in your day-to-day life. Increasing your physical activity doesn’t always have to be about a hard hitting session in the gym or on your favorite trail! • Getqualitysleep.Weneedsolidqualityandquantityofsleep inordertorecover from workouts, repair our tissues, re-balance our hormones, and improve our brain power. • Eat a balanced diet. With the proper fuel, our bodies are primed for healthy tissues, faster recovery times between training, and a reduced risk of injury. Select foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids,goodcarbs,andqualityprotein,andavoidexposuretopro-inflammatory toxins like gluten, sugar, and alcohol. • Focus on your mental health, too. Find ways to spend your time more wisely and taking more time for yourself as needed. While developing mastery in any one area of life requires a lot of focus and dedication, it’s still important not to neglect your health, relationships, or peace of mind. Consider things like journaling,meditation,artclasses,cooking,andother relaxing activities which can help you spend time with loved ones or enjoy some quiet solo time yourself. Better Balance for the In-Season and Off-Season! There is no point in your snowboarding season—or your life in general—where it’s too late to start being more active! Do you need some help recovering from a sidelining injury? Curious about how improving your balance could help you have your best year on the slopes? Contact the Fitness Lab today! We’d love to work with you and help you empower yourself with a better sense of balance in body and mind!
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