Have you ever heard the word proprioception? Me neither. Well, not until a few minutes ago. I went skiing today and when looking online for health benefits of skiing (seemed like a good topic), I came upon this wonderful vocabulary word (better topic!).
Simply, proprioception can be described as reflexive movement intelligence. It’s the body’s ability to sense stimuli within the body regarding position, motion, and equilibrium…and immediately turn all that stimuli into a physical reaction. Downhill skiing is a good example of a proprioceptive activity. Without thinking, your body needs to sense the position of your arms and legs in relation to the rest of your body, the position of your body relative to the ground, the fact that your feet are attached to skis, and that gravity is propelling you downward over unpredictable and varied terrain. Good proprioception is what enables you to make it safely to the bottom of the mountain…hopefully with a little grace.
Although proprioception is an unconscious response, it can be enhanced with training and use. By improving proprioception, you will improve balance, stability, coordination, agility, and accuracy while reducing your risk of injury. Cool new word, huh?