When we walk outside the house, there is one thing you can be sure of…the ground will change. Yes, once we move through our front door we will encounter, cement, grass, gravel, and even sand. So how do we prepare for these uneven surfaces, as we call them.
Remember that we have three systems that control our balance. Vision which is our eyes. Our vestibular system in our ears sensing positional changes of the head. The somatosensory system or proprioception, which is our ability to sense the relative position of our body in space by means of receptors in our tendons, muscles, and joints.
In this exercise we will stand on a pillow which will, in a way, remove our proprioception to the ground and encourage our vision and vestibular system. Using a pillow between your feet and the ground will require your vision and vestibular system to come to the rescue.
1. Place the throw pillow on the ground near a wall or counter. Look at a point on the wall at eye level and stand on the pillow. Weight shift from side to side maintaining your eyes on the wall. Cross your wrist and touch your shoulders, placing your arms across your chest. Hold position for as long as you can or 1 minute.
2. Place one foot on the throw pillow in a tandem stance. Cross your wrist and touch your shoulders, placing your arms across your chest.Hold position for as long as you can or 1 minute.
3. Step up onto the pillow. Cross your wrist and touch your shoulders, placing your arms across your chest. Then turn your head from left to right, looking around the room twice. Step off the pillow and repeat.
Doug Schrift is a Physical Therapist, Certified Geriatric Specialist, and senior fitness coach. Doug helps seniors become strong and stable even if they have never exercised before.
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