New Year, New You

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Two views of local Extension leaders drilling ...

Two views of local Extension leaders drilling in physical exercise in middies and bloomers, … (Photo credit: Cornell University Library)

It is a week into 2013.  We at Advantage PT are curious how everyone is doing.  Remember that getting back into the swing of things following the holiday period can be tough.  After being busy with family and all of the food and decreased time for staying in shape, we wanted to offer some pointers to get back into the swing of things.

This is a short list of ways to stay injury free as you return to your workout schedule:

  1. Pace Yourself – Don’t go too hard too fast
  2. Lighten Your Load – Take a few workouts to get your strength and stamina back to where it was
  3. Eat Well – Pay attention to what you are putting in your body.  The right foods will help you ease back into the workout routine
  4. Find a Friend – A friend can help encourage you to stay on track
  5. Set Goals – Studies show that written goals help you work to achieve them instead of just dropping them
  6. Track Your Progress – Keep a journal or use a phone app to keep track of your mileage or weights on each exercise
  7. Do Something You Enjoy – There are a ton of options out there.  Find one you like doing!!!
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Maintaining your balance

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English: Vrksasana, the tree position, a Yoga ...

English: Vrksasana, the tree position, a Yoga posture. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is balance an issue for you? You are not alone!

I see many patients with balance problems, and not all of them are using canes, walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, or other aides to keep them upright.  Some of them feel they are moving and balance just fine on their own.  And maybe that’s true.  But I find it much more common that someone creates a way to balance so there is no need to realize that balance is poor.

The leading reasons for poor balance are; hip weakness, poor core stability, ankle instability, and joint hyper/hypomobility.

By keeping the muscles and joints of the low back and lower extremities in good condition with exercise and movement, we can prevent developing balance problems later in life.

Did you know that by moving, you innately need some balance?  Walking and running are basically just alternating balancing on one foot as well as moving forward at the same time.

In order to keep your balance long into life, you can try these exercises to keep you upright.

Here is an exercise to practice your balance:

You can make this harder by adding a pillow under your foot or closing your eyes, or both!!!

This second exercise will strengthen your hips to help your balance: