Not as daft as it sounds. Using the Wii Fit enables objective assessment and treatment information in assisting balance and proprioreception.
Believe it or not balance is one of the four major components of fitness along with cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility.
Good balance is essential for all types of movement and exercise. Sports would not be feasible if we were not able to balance properly. Scientific Research shows that carrying out balance exercises can help reduce falls and fall-related injuries as we age.
Proprioreception is our body’s way of telling the brain where one body part is in relation to another. We often lose proprioreception when we injury ourselves. A very common example is non an ankle strain.
Nerves get stretched and bruised causing something called a neuropraxia. When we turn our ankle its not just the ligaments and tendons that get stretched and torn. There are major nerves that run either side of the ankle joint. When they are stretched and bruised the wrong messages about the position of the ankle are sent to the brain which leaves the joint very vulnerable to further injury. This is why people often have repetitive ankle strains.
The treatment of the damaged tissues is by conventional, first aid, physiotherapy and ultrasound but possibly the most important part is rehabilitation in the form of repetitive exercises and balance training. The WiiFit is an excellent and fun adjunct to this training. It allows us to carryout practical and functional training via the biofeedback of the video games carried out onscreen. It is also qualitative and quantitive as we are able to record and assess the progress in the improvement of balance from session to session.
In short balance and proprioreceptive exercise incorporating the WiiFit allows us to offer rehabilitation in a very engaging way that is both scientifically and anecdotally proven to help our patients Therapeutically and in a preventative role.
Balance training is applicable and beneficial to all age groups and fitness levels, not just the sporting. Postoperatively it is very useful in assisting a return to fitness and function.
Balance training doesn’t have to be an isolated form of exercise. Because it plays a role in other parts of your workout, you can easily incorporate it into your regular exercise routines. Try standing on one foot while you perform shoulder presses or arm curls. Single leg squats or squats that move to a leg lift will also put the focus on balance.
For the less activeTai Chi and yoga are forms of proper reception exercises that target strength, flexibility, and balance.
Balance boards, and stability balls are good examples of equipment that is often designed specifically for balance training.
Improving your balance can also take place outside the gym. Standing on one leg while folding laundry or brushing your teeth are easy ways to squeeze in training.
Aim to incorporate some type of balance training into your workouts a few times each week. Additionally we recommend that you, stay mindful of balance throughout your daily activities.