Emphatically this is a thought blog, and certainly not a health and fitness blog. Just for today, though, we are taking a break from heavy thinking in order to talk about a wonderful discovery I have made. No, not a weight loss shake! This simple innovation in my lifestyle has eliminated four minutes of boredom a day, while improving my balance and ending my problems with calf strain. Want to know more? Keep reading!
It began with a newspaper article about the importance of balance, especially for people as they age. I was talking about this article with a physical therapist friend, Janet, when she suggested that I try balancing on one foot while brushing my teeth.
This is not as easy as it sounds. At first I would start sawing the air after ten seconds or so. But I got better.
Then, a few months later, I was complaining to another physical therapist friend, Dave, about repeated calf strain that interrupted my daily running. He suggested hip strengthening exercises. (The hip bone is connected to the leg bone, as you may know.) When Dave offered some sample exercises I realized I could add them to my balancing act. That’s what I’ve done for the last several months. I’ve had no more calf strains, and my balance is definitely improved.
And most importantly, I am not bored. I’ve long found two minutes of tooth brushing morning and night intolerably dull. Now I have a simple, challenging routine which occupies my attention and is doing me good.
Here’s what I do: standing on one leg I brush my teeth while lifting the other leg outward in a scissors motion. After 30 seconds or so I switch to a one-legged frog kick. At the one minute mark I switch legs.
It’s just hard enough but not too hard. Generally I can do it without tipping over (I couldn’t at first), but it still takes concentration. Try it!