This weekend’s exercise improves your balance and builds the bones and muscles in your legs, arms, and feet.
You’ll need to stand on one foot throughout the exercise, which really works the muscle groups for balance and stability, especially the core muscles.
Better balance and targeted bone-building are not the only benefit of this move. A just-published study shows that a specific type of exercise improves sleep quality in middle-aged women – proving once again that the rewards of exercise are manifold.
Let’s start with a closer look at the muscles and bones involved in the Dynamic Balance Improver.
The essence of balance is to coordinate the muscles of your core, legs, feet, and arms. If you lift one foot off the ground, for instance, you’ll feel your ankle and foot wobble a bit and your abdominal muscles tighten as your brain sends signals to the various muscles to pull this way or that to keep you upright. Your arms are involved, too – one of the first things we do when we’re off balance is put our arms out to correct our body’s tilt.
Today’s exercise targets muscles in these key areas, including (but not limited to) the following muscle groups.
- Core muscles are located in your hips, abdomen, and lower back. This central group of muscles includes:
- Pelvic floor muscles
- Transversus abdominis (abdominal muscle)
- Internal and External Obliques (muscles along your sides and abdomen)
- Rectus abdominis (abdominal muscle)
- Erector spinae (deep back muscles)
- Latissimus dorsi (lats)
- Trapezius (shoulder and upper back muscle)
- Gluteus maximus (buttocks)
As you can see, today’s exercise covers a lot of ground! That’s because balance involves most of the body. All of the above muscle groups work together to hold you upright, but working these muscles also increases density in the bones they’re attached to (as per Wolff’s Law).
These are the main bones targeted in the Dynamic Balance Improver:
- Femur (thigh bone)
- Humerus (upper arm bone)
- Acromion and coracoid process (shoulder bones)
- Tibia (bone in the front of the lower leg that joins with the top of the ankle)
- Fibula (lies behind the tibia)
- Metatarsals (bones of the foot)
- Talus and other bones that make up the ankle joint
- Cuneiform and Cuboid bones in the arch of the foot.
- Lumbar and Sacral Vertebrae (lower back)
Grab a small dumbbell, a can of food, or a bottle to use as a hand weight. Stand near a bed, wall, or chair to catch yourself in case you lose your balance.
- Stand while holding a weight in one hand at around shoulder height, so your arms are bent at an approximate 45 degree angle.
- Bend your knee to lift the leg opposite to the hand holding the weight (if you have the weight in your right hand, lift your left leg, for example). You don’t have to lift your foot too high; eight inches to a foot off the floor is enough.
- Holding your leg up, lift the weight with your palm facing out.
- Stretch your arms upwards all the way to lift the weight over your head, as in a shoulder press. Then bring back to initial position.
- Repeat the weight lifting eight to 10 times (or as many as you comfortably can).
- Switch legs and hands and repeat.
I like to follow this exercise up with this other Weekend Challenge that also emphasizes balance. These exercises work well together because they tackle the same issue (balance), but from a different angle.
Of course, balance exercises are only part of the total exercise regimen you should be doing to build your bone density. It’s important to perform many types of exercise for maximum benefit, and now research reveals that the more “recreational” exercise you do, the better your sleep quality.
Brand-New Study Reveals New Insights Into How Exercise Improves Sleep
This fascinating study looked at three types of activities and how they affect sleep: active living, household/care giving, and sports/exercise. The latter would include elective exercises like those in the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System or the Weekend Challenges.
When researchers studied the sleep and exercise habits of 339 middle-aged women, they found that consistent sports and exercise were associated with greatly improved sleep quality – the women in this group slept more deeply and for longer, and had much lower diagnoses of insomnia. The same results were not noted in the other two groups.1
The study concludes:
“Consistently high levels of recreational physical activity, but not lifestyle- or household-related activity, are associated with better sleep in midlife women.”1
So what this study brings to light is that it’s not just being physically active that offers the greatest benefit; it’s the kind of physical activity you engage in. It also brings up the subject of sleep, something that is rarely discussed in the medical community in relation to osteoporosis. Yet sleep is actually crucial for bone health, because your bones do a great deal of remodeling and deposition of new bone while you sleep.
Unfortunately, it gets more difficult to get a good night’s sleep as we age. This makes it all the more important to engage in healthful exercise as you get older, so as to offset this tendency and increase your sleep quality.
Once again, science confirms the validity and importance of consistent exercise. The Osteoporosis Reversal Program has always known this, which is why the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System was created.
Never Fear A Fall!
Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.
When you Densercise™ regularly, you’re improving your bone health and your sleep, all while enjoying improved cardiovascular health, increased energy, better mood, and all the manifold benefits of exercise.
As always, please feel free to leave a comment about today’s post.
Enjoy your weekend!
1 Kline, Christopher E., PhD, et al. “Consistently High Sports/Exercise Activity Is Associated with Better Sleep Quality, Continuity and Depth in Midlife Women: The SWAN Sleep Study.” Sleep. November 2015. Vol. 36, iss. 9. Web. http://www.journalsleep.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=29086