Thursday, March 07, 2013
Months ago I read an article, that of course I can no longer find, that talked about senior citizens and falling injuries. I work a little in public health and it's well-known in those circles that falls are one of the top THREE reasons that seniors visit the ER. Locally, it's the number two reason. So important to address it and the article talked about how folks can increase his or her balance and core strength with a few simple changes in daily life. Don't push off when getting out of a chair; use your core instead. Don't lean against a wall to pick something up; use your own balance instead. When getting off the floor, don't push off your own legs; use your core.
I shared all of this with my (senior) mother immediately, as she'd just taken a spill. We are all notoriously clumsy. But then I started noticing in my own life, I push off against my thighs when getting up from a chair. I push off from the arm of the couch when standing up. I struggle to get off the floor without bracing against something. When I lean down to unplug something, I lean against the wall. It was an eye-opener.
So, as part of this whole effort, I'm working on using my own body to move my own body. I am hoping this will help me with balance, with core strength and build healthy habits that will serve me in to my old age. It's only been a few days, but I have a surprising side-beneift to report. in the short term, I am more aware of my body in motion. When I'm getting up for the couch and move my hand off the arm of the sofa to move under my own power, I'm reminded of what I'm doing here. When I get up off the floor after playing with the dog and do so without pushing off the chair arm or my own thigh (which, I admit, is tough at the moment), I'm reminded that the day is full of opportunities to strengthen myself and my body and my core. Plus, I had gotten so damn lazy! I don't need to lean against the wall to unplug that vacuum. Damn it, Zed, I'm not old yet! Don't act like it!