Weekend Challenge: Balance And Coordination Enhancer
The primary goal of the Save Our Bones Program is to prevent fractures by building strong, flexible bones through clinical nutrition and exercise. For full fracture prevention, however, balance and coordination are crucial.
These aspects of bone health are emphasized for two basic reasons: one, the overwhelming majority of fractures in older adults is due to falls; and two, the best way to prevent fractures is to avoid falls to begin with.
This weekend’s challenge addresses balance and coordination to prevent potentially injurious falls. So let’s get started!
Have you ever observed an elderly person who has trouble lifting his or her feet? Oftentimes, these individuals seem to shuffle more than walk. That’s because the hip flexors, muscles that lift the legs, can atrophy and weaken with age if they are not challenged on a regular basis. Thankfully, this weekend’s exercise directly targets hip flexor muscles to prevent this from happening.
- Iliopsoas – This is a deep hip flexor muscle that pulls your leg up to your chest. It originates at the sacrum and ilium of your pelvis, and runs round to the front of your pelvis where it inserts into the top of your femur. It’s one of the most important muscles in lifting your leg up and over objects on the floor or up stairs.
- Other hip flexors, including the sartorius, pectineus, rectus femoris, adductor longus, and adductor brevis are utilized in this weekend’s move. For a more detailed explanation of the hip flexors, please take a look at the Hip Fracture Preventer, another Weekend Challenge that targets this important muscle group.
Toning these “stepping up” muscles helps you lift your feet and avoid tripping or stumbling over objects, and you’ll be more likely to catch yourself if you do lose your balance.
This weekend’s exercise teaches your body to do just that: step over objects in a controlled setting so you’ll be able to do it automatically during everyday activities. Here’s how to do it.
- Get two to four soft objects about four to six inches high. You can increase or decrease the height of the objects to fit your personal ability; you’ll be stepping over them, and the goal is to raise your foot at least six inches off the floor. For safety, it’s best to set this up near something you can hold on to, in case you need it (a chair, the wall, etc.)
Foam blocks are ideal, but small pillows, rolled towels, large square sponges, or other similar objects would all work.
- Place the objects on the floor 12 to 16 inches apart in a straight line.
- Stand at one end of the line of objects and lift one foot – for clarity, let’s say the right foot – to step over the first object.
- Place both feet together on the floor after stepping over the first object.
- Lift your left leg to step over the second object.
- Keep pausing between each object and alternating feet until you’ve stepped over all of the objects. Then turn and step over the line of objects again to get back to your starting place.
For more of a challenge, repeat the exercise without pausing between each object.
Bring your right foot up and over the first object; then bring your left foot directly along and step over the second object. Only one foot will be on the floor at a time.
Simplicity Reaps Big Results
This is a very simple exercise, but it’s very effective. Stepping up and over objects is a skill we take for granted until, with age, we can begin to lose it. Exercises like the Balance And Coordination Enhancer prevent that from happening, and can greatly improve your balance even if you’ve already started to experience difficulty in this area.
Here are a couple of other Weekend Challenges that go particularly well with this weekend’s exercise:
So don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s too late to strengthen your muscles and improve your balance and coordination! I created the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System with all fitness levels in mind, so even if you are just starting out and unsure of your ability, you’ll find Densercise™ to be quite “user-friendly.”
The exercises in Densercise™ are different from the Weekend Challenges, but many of the moves in Densercise™ address balance and coordination in addition to building density in fracture-prone areas of the skeleton, such as wrists, hips, and ankles.
Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!
Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this weekend’s challenge, so please feel free to leave a comment below. All are welcome in the Saver community!
Enjoy the weekend!