Immediately Improve Your Balancing Ability
A key component of any good senior fitness program is balance. Balancing is already hard enough-why do you make it harder than it needs to be?
Birds and other animals use their tails to help them stabilize and prevent falls. Birds use their tails while perching to avoid falling out of a tree. Cats use their tails while running or walking on a fence rail.
If only we had some device or body part that was designed to help us do the same. Great news! We do! It’s called our toes.
Balancing with Your Toes
Today’s tip is to use your toes to help you balance. Sounds simple enough right?
Since we don’t have tails like others in the animal kingdom we need to use another tool they have-claws! Have you ever seen a dog or cat try to run and change direction on a smooth tile or hard wood floor? It’s pretty funny, but you’ll hear them try to use their claws to create traction and friction. When not on a slippery surface many animals use their claws naturally. Our toes are our claws. Getting your claws out will help you balance and stabilize.
How do I know if I’m using my toes to help me balance?
First, you’ll need to put weight through the whole foot to allow you to use your toes to help you balance. Second, you’ll need to grip with your toes.
Often seeing is believing, so take those shoes off so you can see what’s going on. Besides, balancing in your shoes is cheating. You need to use all the proprioceptors that are found on the soles of your feet to help tell you where you are in space.
- Equal weight through the forefoot and heel.
- Grip with your toes, particularly your big toe.
- It’s best and easiest to get this barefoot or at least out of your shoes.
- If you still aren’t sure if you’re too heel heavy, stand on some plush carpet or pillow to see if you depress the carpet/pillow equally.