Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
It’s time for another fitness blog! The Bible verse above tells us to stand firm. Another word for standing firm could be balancing. Balance is so important in the way we live & move. So important that I’ll be devoting the next 2 blog posts to the major types of balance…STATIC & DYNAMIC balance.
This blog post will cover STATIC balance. That is our ability to hold a certain position without moving our feet. Examples include squats, two-leg stance and one-leg stance.
My poor balance only allows me to stand on one leg for 2-3 seconds without touching something. Practice! Practice! Practice! With God…and practice, all things are possible!
We’ll need to look in a mirror to see if our bodies are lined up correctly. Is our head directly over our shoulders? (No forward leaning!) Are our shoulders directly over our hips? Of course we also want our hips over our feet too. Even 24 years post-injury, this can still be a challenge for me!
We need to engage our core and hip muscles to hold the proper alignment of our bodies and resist the urge to shift our body‘s position. FEEL the correct way to stand and move! That’s why the mirror will help until we learn how the right way feels.
This feels very natural when we’re younger. It becomes harder as our bodies get older. That is why it is so important that we include both strength & balance into our weekly routine. (Daily is best!)
A gym is not the only place we can do strength exercises. Squats strengthen our core & hips. Push-ups strengthen our chest, shoulders, & core muscles. See? No equipment, no gym! Pick up a pair of dumbbells or soup cans to add some extra strength training for your arms and shoulders.
Posture! Posture! Posture!
Fighting poor balance for so many years has taught me the absolute necessity of keeping our bodies in correct posture from head to toe! Below are just a handful of queues I pester my classes with to keep them using proper posture.
A good way to keep our heads in the right position is to try to make our neck longer. Better yet, imagine we’re wearing a neck brace. Always strive to keep the chin up and imagine we’re balancing a book on the top of our head.
Some of my other favorite posture cues are…”Elevate your ribcage.” “Squeeze a lemon between your shoulder blades.””Hold your ears over your shoulders.”And always “make a loooong neck”!
To keep our hips aligned with the top half of our body, imagine we have a long tail. Now TUCK the tail between your legs. For even better control of the hip musculature, SQUEEZE that same tail. (Think Kegel exercises)
I usually walk to the elevator in the morning thinking, “Long neck…tuck your tail! Long neck…squeeze your tail!” Maybe that’s the reason I’m always forgetting something as I walk out my door.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
Proverbs 4:26 (NIV)
Here’s one last static balance tip. My son Andrew spends most of his summers sailing. When the winds are really blowing, he takes a ‘noodle knee’ stance to keep from losing his balance while adjusting the sails. A slight bend to our knees can protect our balance…so try to keep soft knees when walking or standing!
Thank you for the balance & equilibrium to safely maneuver our life here on earth. Some get around quicker than others, but thank you for making us all so different.
Please help us to indoctrinate balance exercises into our workout routine. They don’t burn many calories…but will sure keep us moving safely for many more years!
Once you are on mvarga.com, you can subscribe to receive future blog posts, read through past blogs and find more about my books & fitness tips!
You can also follow me on Facebook, www.facebook.com/mlvarga/