Great balance may seem like something you shouldn’t worry about until you’re scoring early-bird dinner deals, but it’s never too soon to start training. It’ll come in handy when you trip over the dog while carrying two handfuls of grocery bags, but that’s not all. Slowly losing your balance and coordination is normal as you get older, and perfecting your balance as you move through life means that, by the time your muscle mass begins to decrease and your bones begin to weaken, you’ll have a solid base you only need to maintain.
You’d think that staying upright would be a simple act to pull off, but, in reality, it takes teamwork from three major systems: the visual, the auditory (inner ear), and proprioception, our inner sense of limb position and movement in space, which is reliant on specialized neurons found in muscles and joints. Take one away (by closing your eyes or standing on an unstable surface) and balancing becomes harder — but that’s how you get better at it.