|Snagged from Jacinta-Yoga|
As most of my readers know, I consider myself to be pretty fit. I exercise almost daily, taking a day off now and then, but mostly I indulge in aerobic exercise and enjoy it a great deal. One of my regular classes is called "strength and tone" and we use weights to gain muscle strength. I can still do quite a few pushups, so my muscles are well toned. Years ago, I took yoga classes and got pretty good at some of the balance exercises and gained flexibility.
But just as you can't store aerobic fitness, you can't store those other aspects of fitness, either. The letter contains a sidebar entitled, "Steps to better balance." It suggests testing your balance by seeing how long you can stand on one foot with your eyes closed. It says, "Most people over 40 can't go past 15 seconds." Well, guess what? I discovered I can't do it AT ALL any more. Even with my eyes open, I'm wobbly but I can do it. When I close my eyes, I'm unable to find my balance.
Well! Who knew? How often do you ever think of balance as an element of fitness? Older people, it goes on to say, often have poor balance due to loss of muscle strength (not my problem), as well as reduced vision and reaction time (hmmm, maybe). The risk of inner ear dysfunction increases with age. I wonder...
It suggests that one way to increase one's ability to balance is to stand on one foot for 10 to 15 seconds; switch legs and repeat 10 times. Then do it again with your eyes shut. Since I've got TWO bloggers I follow who have recently taken a fall, I am quite motivated to find my balance again. The letter also suggests taking up tai chi, which has been shown to improve balance and decrease falls. I can see I've got my work cut out for myself. What about you? Can you do it?