Hey, I just got back from the my little kid’s Christmas concert.
Check out their big group photo.
It was a lot of fun to watch them.
At my son’s school, there’s only one primary Christmas concert every year for kids in grade 3 and younger. So, I made sure to enjoy this one because I’ll only have two more concerts left to go to.
Today, I will share an interview I had with my longtime friend, Chapmann Cheung, as he talked about the most often ignored group of exercise in a workout routine.
Enjoy the interview.
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video interview.
In the interview above, you will discover:
- Who is Chapmann Cheung?
- What is balance training?
- The major benefits of balance training
- 2 common balance training mistakes to avoid
- What is the best way to increase balance?
I hope you enjoyed the interview.
Rick Kaselj, MS
If you are unable to watch or listen to the interview, check out the transcript below.
Rick: Hey! This is Rick Kaselj from exercisesforinjuries.com. Today I have another interview for you and it’s with a longtime friend from the Vancouver area and we’re going to talk about balance training. And I will get Chapmann to introduce himself and give a little bit of a background on who Chapmann is and we’ll get into the interview.
Chapmann: Thank you very much, Rick, for this opportunity. I am a kinesiology grad from Simon Fraser University. I have been in the fitness industry since 1996. Mainly I spent a lot of time in the private member clubs. I had started off in corporate health and fitness originally and mainly did a lot of my time in private member clubs, namely the Shaughnessy Gulf Country Club and now most recently the Point Grey Golf & Country Club.
Rick: Awesome. We’re going to focus on the balance side of things. So maybe we can start right from the start, like what is balance training?
Chapmann: Balance training is a very broad topic and in fact I think everything in life requires balance. I mean, we talk about a work-life balance, we talk about having a balanced mental state and area. When I think about fitness I actually think of three pillars. I think of cardiovascular, I think of strength and I think of flexibility. If you were to add supplemental things to it I would also include posture and balance as things that we should be training. My grandmother who passed away about eight years ago actually fell and broke her hip. She got pneumonia and I feel inside of me that if I have been able to offer a little bit more in terms of balance training or even awareness she would be not shuffling her feet as much and perhaps being able to correct herself out of a fall or even have the ability to understand her body better. She might not be fearful of movement and that’s sort of my goal of balance.
Rick: And it kind of moves on to the next questions like why is balance training important in the older adults and you gave some great examples there with your grandmother. I mean, not being fearful of movement, being more comfortable to move, being able to catch themselves or prevent themselves from falling. What would be some other examples when it relates to the balance training? The benefit of balance training?
Chapmann: Some of the benefits for balance training, I think, are mainly the ones that you touched on the most. I think is confidence. I think in order to be safe, safety is my number one concern. And whenever I get people exercising they have to feel safe. If they’re not going to feel safe they’re not going to want to try these things that we’re participating in. And so with balance training we do get into a situation where we’re getting people working on stabilizing muscles, perhaps people talk about the core. Those smaller stabilizing muscles are actually helping us maintain balance. Even as I’m sitting here I’m needing to be supported by something behind me which is the couch. But I mean, if I sat upright I would essentially be using stabilizing muscles. So it can be very rudimentary balance type of training but it also can be very dynamic and complexed as you might see in most recently in the Olympics.
Rick: Cool. And I always chuckle because I know that even myself, in my 40s, I need to incorporate some balance work or at minimum some single leg work in my workouts in order to feel strong in the lower body and in the core area. So when I say older adult I’m not talking about your 80-year old grandma. I mean, if you are in your 40s or in your 50s you need to kind of consider it and you’ll probably get some benefit from it. I don’t know if you have anything to add to that. (laughing)
Chapmann: Actually, I do. I kind of look at balance as a way of life almost because you know I have three kids, I know you have a couple of children as well, and something that was really interesting to me is that they’re so adorable and they have these big heads. And like, how do you balance this big head on this body and then start moving around? I actually came to realize how incredibly balanced we are innately, but also, we aren’t born with that balance. They actually keep practicing that balance. They fall a lot which is part of the process. But as we continue to age and as we continue to pursue other sports and other interests, it’s really interesting for me to see that people are continually to learn about balance. And as we age, thanks for letting everyone know that we still need to work on our balance. I mean, I do need to work on my balance every day as well.
Rick: So then looking at balance training, what are some common mistakes that people make when it relates to balance training?
Chapmann: What I think is an interesting question, I think a big common mistake is actually a common thought that, “Hey, I need some expensive equipment” or “Hey, I need some really professional guidance” or “I’m going to hurt myself” or whatever. I think what’s important for everyone to know is that balance training is important because we have proprioceptors in our ankles, we also have this brain that is providing us information about our body, we also have our inner ears that are helping us with vestibular balances. Some people experience vertigo. Obviously, you need to be safe. So consult a medical professional or a fitness professional like ourselves in order to make sure that you’re going to approach the balance safely.
Rick: Good point. Now, what would be some examples of balance training?
Chapmann: Very simply, I’ll take one great example of one of my clients right now. She’s 70 years old and she’s trying to gain better confidence because she’s going on a cruise. And so as she’s walking with some of her Nordic walking sticks I said, “Okay, let’s take it back a step and let’s actually get into yourself”. And so I actually have her sit and I have her sit upright and then I’ll just simply ask her to close her eyes. And then when you do that you’ll actually realize that your visual system actually offers a lot to your balance. So as we age, I mean I’ve always worn specs and you know they become progressive and things like that, but again it’s a process. And so I’m finding that taking away, even vision, is a very simple way to increase the challenge in someone’s balance systems, relying on other senses.
Rick: Good point and, you know, usually when we talk about something like balance training people think that they need to do that for like an hour to get the benefit from the balance training. Now, what is the length of time that they need to do in order to get some benefit from the balance training?
Chapmann: Well, essentially anything is better than nothing. My thought is always been if you’ve always done what you’ve always done, you’ll always have what you’ve always had. So for me I’ve never had the six-pack abs or anything like that but I never worked myself towards that either. So really, I think what’s important is that you’re aware of it because once you become aware of it you might actually try and practice it a little bit more. If you feel that there’s benefit into it then go ahead and do it. There’s no harm in doing something that is safe and that is progressive and that is a little bit different than what most people might be doing in the gym because it’s really individual. For her, her huge focus is not falling and my huge focus is making sure that she’s safe when she’s exercising. So I’m really glad that our views are in alignment and that she’s able to benefit from this balance training. She’ll be going on her cruise very soon and I actually touched base with her and said, “Hey, are you feeling like we’ve reached our goal?” and we’re about two weeks ahead.
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