20 February 2010
Better balance in 3 months, no time per day
Feeling creaky? Feeling fragile? This tip won't make you infallible, but it'll reduce the chance of a fall, and you won't spend even an extra minute doing the exercise.
I thought I'd relay a successful experiment I did on myself. When I turned 50, I decided I wanted to improve my balance. I saw a web page somewhere which described three increasingly difficult balance exercises: standing on one foot, standing on one foot with your eyes shut, and standing on one foot with your eyes shut on a soft surface.
Step 1. All I did was to put my socks and shoes on while standing on one foot. Zero extra time per day. I couldn't do it very well at first, but after a few months, I could do it easily.
Step 2. Now I put my socks and shoes on, while standing on one foot, with my eyes shut. That's all! Zero extra time per day. This was harder than standing on one foot with eyes open, because sight gives a lot of balance cues. I had to pay a lot more attention to my legs and feet. But after a few more months, I could do it pretty well. Not perfectly ever day, and not very well if I'm feeling poorly. But this is such an easy exercise for the gains.
What next? I'll move on to Step 3, also standing on the bath mat.