With you exercise, you may focus on how certain regimens will improve your strength, help you lose weight, or even make you more flexible. Or maybe you just exercise to feel good and stay healthy—all are valid motivations for breaking a sweat. But another huge benefit of exercise you may not think about is how it improves your balance.
Working on your balance, or stability, won’t just make you look more graceful in the weight room (though that’s a welcome perk). “Improving balance is important for overall fitness and everyday activities simply because it increases overall movement function,” Robbie Ann Darby, an ACE-certified personal trainer in New York City, tells SELF. Any workout move you do requires some level of balance—to even just walk you need to have basic balancing abilities.
The core is often referred to as the powerhouse of your body. It’s also your balance center. Having a strong core allows you to control your body’s positioning and maintain an upright position. Your back and chest play a role here, too. All of these muscles are important for both posture and stability. But purposefully training your body to move in new ways that disrupt and challenge your balance will also help tremendously.