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Balance: Why it is a necessity

Dr. Lauren leiva, dpt balancing

Why is balance necessary? To do a crow in power yoga on Thursday night, right?! WRONG. Though it looks awesome to do a crow, this is not the balance I am talking about. If you walk on two feet you have a good period of time where you are standing on one leg to advance the opposite leg - FUN FACT= 80% of your walking pattern is spent on one leg, which is called the “single leg stance phase” of gait. Think of these situations: Walking in busy environments such as a theme park or even Walmart and someone bumps into you. If you had good balance, maybe you can stand on that one leg a little longer and a little stronger while you react to the perturbation, the accidental bump. Even if the person does not bump you, what about the people walking by at different speeds, different noises that draw your gaze left and right. The ability to keep walking without falling requires balance. What was once natural to your body, may now require some practice and balance training to prevent falls.

The ExerScience Center’s philosophy is to prevent injury first and foremost. To prevent injury is to have balance. Balance is the key to all functional movement and strengthens your postural equilibrium which will greatly improve your overall stability, joint dynamics and muscular activation. Poor balance leads to poor posture resulting in low back pain, neck pain, referred pain and more! To have balance is to have a strong core. Although it takes aerobic activity to burn abdominal fat, core exercises can strengthen and tone the underlying muscles so getting defined abs is a positive side effect! These core muscles are what makes it easier to do many activities, such as swing a golf club, bike, swim or just getting a glass from the top shelf to bending down to tie your shoes. Balance is also important for an athlete, as weak core muscles can lead to more fatigue, less endurance, and more injuries.

It takes balance to sit up straight. Yes, don’t take that for granted. Neurological injuries or diagnosis can lead to an inability to sit without support to being unable to get up from laying on your side. I teach patients how to sit again and how to roll over in the bed with control. It is a blessing to have balance but if you do not train your balance system it will degrade over time just like muscle atrophy.

So, what does elite balance training look like for the professional athlete? Being a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I look at things differently and I am able to prescribe exercises that are more tailored to fit your needs. Training those feedforward and feedback mechanisms in different environments with maximal distraction, perturbation creates a unique, unorthodox and challenging training session that may differ from your coach or athletic trainer. I pay special attention to your body mechanics, alignment and even your facial grimacing that may detect pain you may not even know existed. I aim to reduce any thresholds in the body or mind that could be holding you back. Along with the latest technology and bio-hacking abilities, The ExerScience Center is the perfect place to discover your potential or rather realize you have limitless potential.

Everyone has a starting point but sometimes we do not know where that is. I can help you find it and lead you to the beginning point of a safe challenge. The challenge is where the change happens. If your body is not quivering it is not receiving and learning to its potential. I will make your body quiver in the best way possible! I will challenge you SAFELY. Having no fear is to relax your mind and allow your body to perform at its optimal function. Together, we work on putting your guard down and fear causing imbalance. So, go to that restorative yoga class, chair yoga or even a power yoga class, if that’s your desire, but stay balanced. As always, you can BOOK NOW with Dr. Lauren Leiva, DPT to train your balance at any level from lying, sitting, standing or elite training.

The body and mind are always related. They are always talking. #Mindovermatter #wisdomwednesday

Yoga with Dr. Lauren Leiva, DPT

To schedule an appointment, please call us at 813.803.7070

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