Balance is the most critical skill that needs to be cultivated, be it maintaining an upright posture while sitting on a chair or stationary position while freezing during statue games, be it maintaining a work-life balance or physical and mental balance. Balance is not a child’s play, but surprisingly, this skill is best learnt during childhood.
Children develop balance naturally as babies when they are more flexible and less fearful. They learn the art of balancing, during their tummy time, while they shift the body weight to one side and reach out to objects with their opposite arm forward. Further, as they grow up, they learn to sit, stand, walk and pick things from the floor while they balance, which marks the developmental milestones.
However, balance is a skill that needs to be fostered over a while by indulging in age-appropriate balancing activities. Activities such as walking on uneven surfaces, stepping stones over a path, skipping the rope, monkey bars, handstands, backward bending improve balance and coordination in children. These activities make the abdominal muscles work harder to make postural modifications for maintaining body balance.
Activities such as swimming, cycling create body awareness in space, which improves the spatial intelligence in children. The spatial intelligence facilitates appropriate reaction to body movements and reduces the risk of injuries and fractures.
Furthermore, balancing activities play a major in brain development and improve gross motor skills. They promote muscle strength, endurance and help maintain suitable body posture by increasing the efficiency of muscles.
Attention, concentration, hand-eye coordination, sensory processing, alertness and focus form the building blocks of balancing activities which help to build secure networks in the brain.
While balancing activities should be prioritized in childhood to attain a balanced and coordinated body, adults too need to indulge in such activities to keep away from diseases like Dementia and Alzheimers.