29 Oct 2020

A balanced approach at northlondonosteopaths

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Alan Nevies and his colleagues at northlondonosteopaths want to focus on balance in this blog. From our first tentative steps as babies we adjust to walking on two legs which is quite a miracle when we consider that many animals opt for the intrinsically more stable version of 4 limbs on the ground!

Good balance is vital for our quality of life. It gives us greater confidence, better mobility and will enable us to achieve higher levels of fitness. Vital at all stages of life but especially as we get older, good balance will prevent falls. The injuries that can result from falls range from painful and inconvenient to life threatening and shortening. Statistics have shown that more women die from problems associated with hips fractured in falls than from breast cancer.

Although as we age the muscles we use to stand tall weaken (after 30!), the length of our stride shortens, the pace of our step slows and our vision deteriorates we can help ourselves by engaging and challenging the appropriate muscles. Balance, like flexibility and strength is a separate system and if we engage it and use it, we don’t have to loose it.

At northlondonosteopaths Alan Nevies and his colleagues would recommend the following:

Exercise 1- sideways walking.
Standing with your feet together and knees slightly bent, step sideways with one leg and bring the other leg to join it. Repeat 10 times each way

Exercise 2- simple grapevine.
This involves walking sideways with your feet crossing over each other. Your starting position is standing with your right foot crossed over you left foot. Bring your left foot to join it. Do 5 cross steps each side

Exercise 3- heel to toe walk.
Walk in a straight line, looking forward placing your heel directly in front of the toes of your other foot. Do this ten times. Stabilise yourself with your hand against a wall if necessary.

Exercise 4- one leg stand.
Start by standing opposite a wall, using your fingertips. Stabilise yourself gently. Keeping your hips level raise your left leg. Hold the leg in this position for 5-10 seconds and slowly place your leg back down on the floor. Repeat 5 times for each leg.

Alan Nevies and his colleagues at northlondonosteopaths are confident that by doing these exercises regularly you will improve your balance and enjoy the many and significant benefits that should follow as a result.