Coordination training is a great way to improve overall fitness and enable us to feel in control of our bodies.
Coordination refers to when all our body parts and senses are working together to produce movements that are smooth and coordinated. This in turn enables us to live our lives to the full, decreases the risk of injury and falls, enhances our quality of life and enables us to carry on taking a full and active part in all our favourite pastimes.
Of course, as we age our bodies can slow down a bit and we might feel we are no longer quite the hot shots we used to be in our favourite activities of yore: golf, tennis, cricket, football – whatever we used to be “good at”. Sometimes this is simply due to the fact we are no longer quite as fit as we were, sometimes it’s that our bodies are no longer quite as finely tuned as they used to be.
But there is lots we can do to keep our bodies “synced” and improve our general fitness levels, even from the comfort of our home.
So without more ado, let’s have a look at some simple exercises which we can perform to improve our coordination, prevent falls and thus retain the active and fulfilled lifestyle we crave.
Co-ordination Training and Exercises
1. Toe The Line
This simple exercise is great for improving coordination whilst at the same time enhancing balance and posture too.
Holding your body erect with your arms hanging loosely at your sides, place your right foot in front of your left with your right heel touching the toes of your left foot. Now walk forward slowly, placing the back of your heel against the toes of your opposite foot with each step. Raise your arms parallel to the floor if this is needed to aid balance. Continue for 5 – 20 steps.
If in the first instance you find yourself struggling to maintain balance, practise this exercise parallel to a wall so that you can reach to it for support.
2. Tightrope Walk
Similar to Toe The Line, this too is an excellent exercise for coordination, posture, balance and also core strength.
Position a length of rope, cord, twine or tape in a straight line on the floor (secure if necessary). Position yourself on the line one foot in front of the other. Now walk forward slowly without stepping off the line in doing so. Stretch your arms wide to each side to improve balance and coordination. Try 10 steps before getting off the rope then turn round and return in the opposite direction. Repeat the tight rope return journey 5 – 10 times.
3. Flamingo Stance
This exercise not only improves eye-to-brain coordination but also enhances strength in ankle, knee and hip joints too.
Place a Post-It note at eye level on a wall in front of you. Fix your gaze on that spot only. Now, taking the weight on one foot, slowly raise the other foot forward and hold for up to 15 seconds. Keep your shoulders, back and head straight, ensuring your ears do not sit forward of your shoulders. Return your foot to the floor, then repeat with the opposite side. If balance is a problem, hold the back of a chair as you do so. Repeat 5 – 10 times for both sides.
As your confidence, balance and coordination improve, take it up a notch by extending your hand to meet your foot.
4. Heel Raise
This easy exercise strengthens ankle and knee joints whilst at the same time improves balance, stability and gait too.
Place your feet hip width apart with your hands hanging loosely at your sides. Now gently shift your weight forward towards your toes and raise both heels simultaneously. Balance on the balls of your feet and hold for 5 seconds before gently lowering both heels to the floor. Repeat 10 times.
Again, if balance is a problem, have the back of a chair close by to hold on to with one hand.
5. Rock The Boat
Another simple exercise great for core strength, posture, balance, stability and coordination and particularly good for those of us who are daily walkers.
Stand up straight, shoulders back, head forward, feet shoulder width apart. Now press your weight firmly and evenly into each foot. Once you feel your weight evenly distributed, shift all your weight onto your left foot, raising your right foot as you do so. Hold for up to 30 seconds. Now return your right foot to the floor, transferring your weight back to resting position. Repeat for the other side and alternate the process up to 10 times.
6. Wall Push-Ups
So, all you need for this exercise is a wall. It is so easy, you can even have a quick work-out during the adverts of anything you are watching on TV! Wall push-ups coordinate and engage hands, elbows, wrists, shoulders and chest, building muscle and strengthening them at one and the same time.
To perform this exercise, position yourself a little further than arm’s length from a wall, feet shoulder-width apart. Now with arms stretched out, touch the wall with your fingertips at shoulder height and slowly bring your upper body towards the wall until your palms lie flat on the surface keeping your elbows tucked in to your sides at the same time. Hold for 5 seconds. Raise your palms through your fingers and return to your initial position. Repeat 5 – 10 times (or as long as the adverts take!)
The Importance of Coordination Training for Healthy Ageing
We hope you have found the above guide helpful in terms of simple exercises you can perform in the home to maintain and enhance coordination and help you continue to enjoy and live the active life style you value.
Coordination is something that helps support lifelong adventure and goes hand in hand with other key fitness skills, such as balance and flexibility.
By simply practising some of these simple movements each day, you’ll be amazed at how much progress you can make in a short period of time.