As this The Globe and Mail article states, people can be find themselves thinking about balance issues and fall prevention surprisingly early in life. Instead of touring the sidewalks and cobblestones of the world in their 50s and 60s, they stay close at home to avoid a trip and fall. And if diagnosed with Osteoporosis, being a "fall risk" is even more scary.
But why are balance issues happening so early in life? Again we can blame sedentary lifestyles. Muscle atrophy can rob you of both strength and proprioception, which is the sense of your body in space. Joint stiffness can keep you from lifting your knee and foot high enough to completely clear different types of ground surfaces. Hip weakness reduces the amount of time you can safely support yourself on one leg. Painful bunions and hammer toes can diminish your ability to stay balanced on your feet.
To keep enjoying life in all of your years, it's important to focus on more than just cardiovascular health. A physical routine that moves your full body in many different planes of motion helps maintain the necessary strength, balance, and coordination to avoid trips and falls.
At PIVOT, we combine Pilates, Restorative Exercise, and gait training to keep our clients on their feet and traveling the world!
Just finished the latest The Guardian Long Read: Why Exercise Alone Won't Save Us. If you've worked with me for any length of time, most of it should already sound familiar! For everyone else, here is my TL;DR:
For optimal health, the body needs to be in fairly constant, varying motion. At the cellular level, this provides oxygenated blood flow to all parts of our body, and the “clean-up crew” lymph circulating. However, technology and convenience are robbing us of the movement we evolved with, and our overall health is suffering because of it.
Doing intense exercise 2-3 times a week has benefits, but in itself it doesn't come close to the slow to moderate and varying movement our bodies rely on for optimal health. In addition, intense workouts combined with an otherwise sedentary lifestyle might leave your joints feeling aches and pains too early in life, discouraging you from further movement. So, attempting to squish all the movement you need for optimal health into one or two intense sessions a week isn't the best strategy.
If you want to elongate your life and enjoy the extra years, you have to keep moving. Walking, squatting, stair climbing, pushing and pulling. Take every opportunity you have to walk. Take the stairs. Twist and reach for things. Get down on the floor and get back up. Change sitting positions often. When you need rest you rest, and then move again.
At PIVOT, our expertise is in evaluating your movement patterns, introducing movements you lack, and retraining patterns that no longer serve you. Our aim is to optimize your movement so you can continue moving....freely and independently....for a long time!