Sunday, February 20, 2011

How's your balance?

How long can you stand on one leg with your eyes shut? I'm betting you can't make it to 30 seconds. That's bad news, because when you think about it, what is running, really? It's standing on one leg, over and over again.

As we age, our balance starts to get progressively worse. If you can't make it 30 seconds on each foot, it's time you started working on your balance. The good news is that incorporating balance into your life is really quite easy and doesn't require much extra time.

I've been working on mine lately and after just about 4 weeks, I can already see a big difference. How have I gone about it? I sneak it in throughout my day. A few approaches:
  • Whenever you lift weights with your upper body, do it on one leg. Or try using a bosu ball.
  • The next time you brush your teeth or dry your hair, do it on one leg.
  • You probably spend a fair amount of time each week standing in lines--at the grocery store, the bank, wherever it may be. Do it on one foot.
  • You can also make more concerted efforts at balancing, like doing the 30-second closed eye drill several times each day.
You'll find that it's really quite easy to find the time to work on your balance. The benefits--better stabilizing muscles. As more studies are showing, these are very important to injury prevention. Not only that, but it's a great way to slow down Father Time. I can now challenge my kids to balance contests and guess what? They don't have much of an edge any more. That's pretty cool, I think.