Core training consists of specific exercises that help develop and strengthen the body’s core, which stabilizes the entire body
Everyone experiences certain changes as they get older—hearing and vision weaken, skin becomes thinner, and wrinkles appear. But did you know that there are a number of changes many people associate with getting older that actually have nothing to do with aging?
According to The Merck Manual of Health & Aging, “usual aging was once thought to include such unavoidable changes as muscle weakness, memory loss, slowed movement, and loss of balance.” Research shows that many of these changes are the result of an unhealthy lifestyle or a number of disorders that can be prevented or treated and reversed, rather than from aging itself. This means, most people can age healthy.
Healthy aging can be achieved by staying mentally active, eating a nutritious diet, and exercising regularly. The sooner a person develops these habits, says Merck, the better.
However, it’s never too late to begin, especially when it comes to the loss of balance many people associate with aging. Besides exercising and eating a healthy diet to prevent the underlying conditions that may cause loss of balance, health and fitness professionals recommend adding core training to your routine.
Also called “balance training,” core training consists of specific exercises that help develop and strengthen the body’s core, which stabilizes the entire body. The core is the body’s midsection and all of its muscles, including the back, sides, and front. If it’s weak, in addition to loss of balance, it can cause chronic back pain, it can increase your risk of injury while doing other exercises, and it can even make walking up a flight of stairs with groceries or picking up a two-year old challenging.
Core Training Exercise
Personal trainers incorporate fitness equipment into certain exercise routines to achieve maximum results. Common core training equipment includes BOSU balls (technical name BOth Sides Up), stability balls and balance boards. Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, and martial arts also help develop and strengthen the core.
Although balance boards and balls can be purchased for home use, many health and fitness professionals suggest working with a trainer first to develop a customized routine and ensure that your form is correct to prevent injury. However, there are a number of other exercises that do not require special fitness equipment, and others that require nothing more than a set of dumbbells. Not only can these exercises strengthen your core, they improve posture.
These exercises include traditional moves such as lunges and squats, shoulder presses, standing rows, and step-ups for the lower body, as well yoga poses such as tree pose, one-legged pose, extended hand-to-big-toe pose, and just about every warrior pose—especially Warrior III.
To enhance your core training workout (or any yoga pose for balance), trainers suggest closing your eyes when performing balancing moves or changing the direction of your gaze. Once core training has become a part of your regular routine, you will notice better balance, better posture, and an improvement in the effectiveness of other areas of your workout. Stick with it and these benefits will continue well into your golden years.