balance, exercises, aging and balance, balance strap, Mark Sisson
Key 7: Movement

Balancing Act: How to Move Through Life with Ease and Grace 

Balancing Act: How to Move Through Life with Ease and Grace

Balancing Act. That’s what life is. One big test that measures how well we can keep our balance when life throws us curve balls or nothing at all. There’s a metaphor here for staying steady as we maneuver through perilous situations and get ourselves back on track when we’ve strayed from the path. Many of the Enchanted Keys can be used toward that purpose.

balance, exercises, aging and balance, balance strap, Mark Sisson

The Importance of Balancing

According to Prevention, “One in three adults over age 65 takes a serious tumble each year. Avoiding falls means a longer life: About 20% of women who fracture a hip become permanently disabled, and another 20% die within a year. In fact, health problems linked to hip fractures result in more women’s deaths each year than breast cancer does.” How scary is that?

Use It or Lose It

Balancing is one of those skills in which we lose it if we don’t use it. As we age, fear of falling increases. In order to counter those fears, we take smaller steps and move more slowly. Vision plays a part in falling as well. Depth perception changes and vision that isn’t clear can contribute to miscalculating the placement of your foot and the curb, and whether or not the ground is stable underneath your foot.

What We Can Do About It

To help increase mobility, prevent injuries, gain the capacity to challenge yourself during workouts, check out these exercises that can increase balance. Consider which you’d like to work into your regular routine.

8 Strategies to Improve Your Balancing Act

Edward Laskowski, MD, Co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Rochester, MN, suggests these 8 activities.

1-Stand on one foot.

2-Balance on a wobble board.

3-Take a Tai Chi class.

4-Walk heel to toe.

5-Do squats.

6-Practice the force. (This involves moving with momentum from a seated posture to a standing one.)

7-Take up ballet.

8-Get a good night’s rest. (Being less alert can throw you off balance.)

Test Your Balance

  1. Stand with both feet together, anklebones touching, and arms folded across chest.
  2. Set your timer for 60 seconds.
  3. Close your eyes.Though it’s normal to sway a little, you should be able to stand for 60 seconds without moving your feet.
  4. Next, place one foot directly in front of the other and close your eyes. You should be able to stand for at least 38 seconds on both sides.

Slackline

A balance strap,or slackline, is a more extreme way to gain practice in the challenge of balancing yourself. I stumbled upon it, in a glorious synchronicity, during our month-long focus on Enchanted Key #7-Movement. Mark Sisson, former elite marathoner and triathlete, has videos about using a strap tied between two anchors, such as trees, and then walking across it like a tightrope. Youtube has how to videos about making your own slackline. Assess your balance and know your own limits if you plan to try this yourself.

Less Challenging

Walk on the ground, one foot in front of the other as if being given a sobriety test, and see how you do.

Balancing is Important

Balancing your life is vital, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Remove stressors that take you off balance. Need help?

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