Balance is a critical component of your exercise plan, not just specific to particular exercises within that plan.  Balance promotes cardiovascular conditioning, structural alignment of muscle strength, daily function, proper body mechanics, adequate flexibility, kinesthetic awareness, ability to participate in advanced tasks and also, balance minimizes risk of injury to shoulder/neck area and risk of injury in high impact of areas such as knees, hips and back.  So, with that bit of information consider changing directions, please?  Changing directions provides balance to a workout.

A recent, true story:  my friend (alias for real name) was walking with other friends in a gym where they have walked for years in the same direction.  My friend recently noticed that her hip doesn’t bother her if she changes directions for half of the distance.  So she asks her friends in the gym can we turn and walk the other way now?  One of her long time friends replied, “no, we have been walking this way for years!”.  these friends would not change their direction because they were use to the same thing over and over and over.  So my friend decided to walk with them part of the way and then go outside to change directions.  I loved her response; she found a way to change directions.

We all ”get use” to doing the same thing, in the same way, in the same place and sometimes even going the same way.  routine is comfortable and for some who don’t like change it is motivational. Routine is also a great way to know that you accomplished your tasks without having to give it much thought.  but with routine,  there can be a high risk of injury to consider.  Balance within your workout can help prevent pain such as the pain that my friend experiences in her hip when walking for long periods of time in the same direction.  

Walk or run different directions within your workout or at minimum every other workout.  when lifting weights face a variety of directions and when possible consider alternating between sitting, standing, lying down and squatting.  Variety is a viable component not only for interest and motivation but also for physical considerations.  Variety such as changing directions can become a routine part of a workout for those who like to do the same thing over and over.  Overall, balancing a workout and incorporating balance exercises into your workout provides for more functional and effective training.

So please, make it routine to change directions—–