#373 – A Leg To Stand On

As you age, it may become more difficult to maintain your balance. In a news segment last year, an exercise physiologist was talking about ways in which to inoculate yourself against the tottering (and falling) that may occur in your dotage.

They tested a number of volunteers of varying age to see how long they could stand on one foot with closed eyes. The times greatly varied; even some of the younger participants struggled to remain steady for longer than five seconds.

Since I have just started to practise this exercise, I’ve modified it. I’m going to build up my balance-ability by standing on one foot, eyes opened. As I do it, I experiment by bringing my knee up, or extending my leg back. It’s interesting to note how the muscles and bones in my feet are scurrying around in an effort to keep me balanced.

As safety is a consideration, I always do this in front of a solid surface. Behind the couch, or in front of the counter. I even do it while waiting in line-ups at the store.

Once I feel more stable standing on one foot for a longer period of time, I will begin to practise with my eyes closed.

I will patiently perform this exercise on a daily basis, knowing that I can maintain, and then make gains in reversing some of those age-related losses.

Please check out Real Age for more information.

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6 Responses to “#373 – A Leg To Stand On”

  1. I heard a suggestion that each day you brush your teeth standing on one foot, and you alternate feet each time. I don’t seem to do well on one foot. Foot operations are my excuse, but I could try harder. Maybe…

  2. I think we all have to realize that limitations are what they are and that forcing our bodies to go back to their pristine perfection, whether it’s age or illness that has changed them, is just not necessary. Comfortable function should be the key.

    • Beth,

      I agree with what you say re. “comfortable function”. I’ve learned to listen to my body, and decipher the difference between my mind saying “No,” before I’ve given my body a chance to say “Yes”.

      I like to adopt a bit of the sports psychologist’s philosophy – that is to use my mind to visualize myself doing better. I find this subtle shift often allows me to be a little more agile, stronger and in general, feel better.

      I just came across this tweet that reinforces my practice: http://mentalfloss.com/article/33582/how-imagination-changes-brain

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