Exercise Balls: A Great Workout!

If you haven't tried these all-around exercise balls, don't wait another day!

By FamilyTime

 Large, soft, colorful balls gently roll across floors or rest in the corners of gyms from coast to coast. They show up in exercise classes and frequently are spotted in private homes.

Are they aliens invading our planet as in some episode from Star Trek? Absolutely not! They are the hottest exercise device going.

The balls are called stability or fitness balls and if you haven't tried them, you should. They are fun, versatile, and effective.

Don't think these balls are for half-hearted exercisers. Professional athletes and fitness buffs count on them for strenuous workouts.

Why a Fitness Ball?
Fitness balls, used correctly, exercise all the muscles. One of their greatest strengths is the ability to engage the torso muscles, or those in the core, as well as those of the spine and lower back.

When you work these often neglected muscles, you improve the overall efficiency of your entire workout. These inner muscles act as stabilizers, which makes every exercise you do more powerful.

Fitness balls are equally effective for improving and maintaining balance. Even if you do nothing more than sit on one, you have to sit straight and tall to avoid tumbling off. This is excellent for your posture and overall balance.

There are any number of exercises you can do with a an exercise ball. Good ones come with instructions, and there are helpful videos you can rent or buy, too.

The balls are easy to inflate with a bicycle or similar pump. Deflated, they are handy for transporting so that you can work out when you travel.

Getting Started
Make sure you buy a fitness ball from a reputable dealer. Depending on your height and your needs you will need one measuring from 18 to 30 inches when inflated. It should also come with reliable instructions.

If you can, sign up for a class or ask a trainer to give you a private lesson or two. This will quickly introduce you to using the fitness ball correctly.

Don't worry if you have to hold on to the ball when you begin using it. This is expected. After a few sessions with it, you will find your balance improving.

Benefits of the Exercise Balls
Integrating an exercise ball into your regular workout adds interest and novelty - but it does far more.

Fitness balls strengthen muscles, help with balance, and improve flexibility. Stretching on or with one of these balls is fantastic for your back and abdominal region and really helps you limber up.

The fitness balls also provide cardiovascular workouts. Because you work so many muscles when you use one of these balls, your heart rate remains elevated for a good, long time.

For anyone with trouble balancing, fitness balls are great. As mentioned, they promote good balance, which prevents falls but also makes you feel more graceful, tall, and slender!

What are you waiting for? Get on the exercise ball roll!