Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Can you stand on one leg?

Continuing on the theme of balance from my previous blog post, and as promised, this one will be on the leotard side of The Literary Leotard.

As we age, although we don’t like to think about it, our balance can be compromised. I’m sure you’ve seen elderly people walking with a cane or walker, or holding on to their companion as they walk into a restaurant or just down the street, or you might be that person - and if not, you're saying, "Not me. I don't want that to happen."
There are all kinds of reasons why we lose our balance. Without getting into detail, some reasons are: prescription drugs (certain ones, I’m not a pharmacist so I’m not going there…); weakness in the muscles; changes in the vestibular system causing dizziness, vertigo, or orthostatic hypotension; lateral instability; illness; slowed reaction time. The list goes on, but instead of giving you all the bad stuff, let’s get into the good stuff – what we can do to maintain and/or improve our balance. And, while you're working on balance, you'll be gaining strength in your core and in your legs at the same time.

Where to begin?
Stand with your feet comfortably apart in neutral spine (explained in an earlier blog)

Focus on the center of your body ( 1 ½ - 2 inches below your navel) Don’t stare at it, just get your mind on it.

Lift one knee and point your toes to the floor keep your eyes open!

Hold that position for 10 seconds (or longer if you can) – If this is difficult or if you’re uncomfortable to try it, stand near a wall or chair to hold on, but don’t GRAB on, just place a finger on the wall or chair for security. Once you feel secure, let go!

Once you can hold this position for 30 seconds, try it with one eye closed. Practice makes perfect!

People who can complete a full 30-second single-leg stance, with eyes open, demonstrate strong balance skills. If you can do this with eyes closed – that’s terrific!

Don't I look happy standing on one foot? You should, too. Have fun with this - be serious about it - you'll reap the benefits as you age, but have fun. And hold your belly in - it'll help! Focus on the center of your body - it's half the battle.

If you have difficulty with this challange, I want to assure you that every little bit helps. I've had clients who could not stand on one foot and would hold on to a wall (for dear life!) for months. Eventually, they took their hands off the wall and could hold the position for 1 or 2 seconds, but they didn't give up. Eventually, they got to 5 seconds. Hey! That's better than none at all. And, they keep at it. Every little bit helps.

Now I've got to get back to writing a synopsis for my novel, FLOURISH. See, I'm balancing. Balancing time. First a bit of fitness, then a bit of my literary side, and then some T.V. with my husband. Life is a balance!

1 comment:

  1. thanks for sharing about balance. It helps to know where to focus. This will help my tennis.
    T Cat Taylor