Why You Seriously Need to Start Balance Training

Why You Seriously Need to Start Balance Training

You know the old adage, “if you don’t use it, you lose it?” You’ll often hear this quip in gyms as trainers remind clients to keep up with their cardio and strength training routines. But what we don’t get reminded about enough is to train our balance, arguably the most overlooked component of our fitness.   Balance training is rarely top of mind when it comes to our own workouts.   Walk into a gym you’ll see the majority of people schvitzing on cardio machines, throwing weights around, and doing some stretches in the corner. But unless they’re doing Warrior 3 in a yoga class, you won’t see many people balancing on wobble boards, squishy pads, balance discs, BOSUs or lifting weights while standing on one leg. This is unfortunate because like strength, endurance and flexibility, you will also lose your ability to balance if you don’t use it.  Optimizing balance can give advanced exercisers an extra boost in performance. According the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), balance is key to many day-to-day activities, preventing falls and staying independent as you age. Research also shows that balance training can help minimize injuries to the back, knee and ankle.   The National Institute of Health (NIH) says that nine percent of people over 65 report having difficulty balancing. Combine that with a decline in lower body strength, and we get an alarming 300,000 hospital admissions for fall-related injuries among older adults each year.   In fact, research shows that altered balance is the number one reason elderly people fall.  There is a high correlation between balance deficit and the incidence of falls....

Top Fitness Trends for 2016. Does Your Workout Make the Cut?

My latest blog on Huffington Post reveals the inside scoop on the upcoming year's top trends in fitness.  Is your favorite fitness routine falling flat or trending up? Based on a few surveys, I've got the "official" news on what's hot and what's not for 2016! [ That's me in the most recent P90 video doing a HIIT workout with Tony Horton First let's get our semantics straight. This list is about trends, not fads. The difference being that a fad is a phenomenon that blows up quickly, lasts only for a short time, then, fades away. A trend is something that gains momentum and can create long-term impact in the way people think or behave. In other words, a trend is a "movement." The ACSM's (American College of Sports Medicine) just released its annual "Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2016," in which nearly 3000 exercise pros predict what you'll see in fitness next year. In anticipation of this report, I spoke with three colleagues at the IDEA World Conference earlier this year to see if their top picks were on the list. Sure enough, several of their predictions made the list. Are yours? 1. If you're wearing it, you're trending. Wearable technology like fitness trackers, smart watches, heart-rate monitors and GPS enabled gadgets are the undisputed champs. Brett Klika, CEO of SpiderFitkids.com predicted this would be the #1 trend and he was right. Some industry analysts have predicted that the wearable technology market will approach $6 billion dollars by 2016. Wearables also include smart glasses, with a predicted $1.5 billion in sales (according to Juniper Research) and...