There may be things we may have to accept as we get older but losing our balance isn’t one of them. If you think your balance is “off” there is a simple way to improve it. Make sure you are always standing correctly. In Essentrics, we talk about standing on the “full soles of our feet”, or on the “full flatness of our feet”. We might call it our “1-2-3 feet” because there are three main points of the foot [that should be on the floor] to ensure that we are standing flat: the foot pads under your big toe(1), your baby toe(2), and your heel(3).
Here’s a more detailed explanation on how this helps your balance?
“Having poor balance has little to do with aging but everything to do with the poor alignment in the ways we stand, sit and walk ….Good balance requires standing flat on the soles of our feet, clean skeletal alignment, and strong, flexible, full body muscles.” [Miranda Esmonde White, Fast Track to Aging Backwards, Random House Canada, 2019]
Here’s a link to a diagram of the soles of your feet, and lots of information, perhaps more than you might want.
When you are standing on the full soles of your feet make sure your weight is evenly distributed from the heel to the full pad of your foot where the toes join the sole. Roll the foot in and out and back to the centre to feel the difference. Here’s a link to a series of videos that show some Essentrics exercises, and how to make sure that you are doing them correctly. Scroll down to the Aging Backwards set and then find the one on Enhancing Your Balance.
Here’s a song that I’ve played in class. You might want to play it when you’re doing some of these exercises. Appropriately, it’s called “Balance.”
It’s really true that our strength, and our balance, starts from the ground up. Proper alignment in the feet will follow up to the knees, hips and the rest of our body. Doing the exercises that strengthen the muscles in your feet and legs will help improve your balance—and your mobility—keeping you flexible and strong!
Finding balance these days may be more than a physical challenge, so I hope that whatever you are doing, it brings joy and happiness and keeps you upright and smiling!
*For some really good information about Finding, and Keeping Your Balance with exercise, check out the Facebook page of Author Amanda Sterczyk. Amanda is an international author, and fitness instructor. I have, and have recommended, her books on balance. The newest one is “Balance 2.0, Preventing Falls with Exercise”
Amanda offers free online courses too. Check her site for more information.