What is proprioception? What is kinesthetic awareness? These are probably the first questions that come to your mind. The follow-up question is most likely "and why do I care about them?" Good questions with answers that will hopefully inspire you think more "outside of the box" when it comes to your health and fitness.
Proprioception is often known as the sixth sense. It is the ability of your central nervous system to communicate and coordinate parts of your body with each other.
An example would be touching your finger to your nose. How does your finger know where to find your nose? Another one would be walking forward in a straight line like you’re walking on a tight rope. How do your legs know where to plant your feet and how to balance so you don’t topple over? Your central nervous system is working with your muscles to make it happen.
Do these exercises sound familiar? Think about what a police officer might have you do if they suspect that you've been driving while intoxicated by alcohol. Alcohol affects the central nervous system, which means that it also affects your proprioception. Checking your proprioceptive responses is an easy way to see if drinking has impaired your central nervous system.
Kinesthetic awareness encompasses the body's abilities to coordinate motion (such as pitching a baseball) and the body's awareness of where it is in time and space (think dancing). When you see a troupe of ballet dancers moving together it is largely kinesthetic awareness that allows them to move in harmony together instead of bumping into each other.