|I'd rather be up on the mountain having FUN on all "fours" -|
than trying to get up off them on the street!
I've had an interest in the subject of "aging" for some time. Getting more serious about it, ten years ago, I did post-grad studies leading to a Certificate in Gerontology (issues related to aging) - and even received a scholarship for "academic excellence". Yes, surprised me too!
Something happens at 60ish. You begin to think about your own mortality or at least you become more aware of the "odds". It may well be that your chronological age is indisputable evidence that the larger percentage of your lifespan is behind you. You also become aware (if you're paying attention!) that you must be much more intentional about fitness especially with respect to strength, flexibility, weight, and general mobility.
Accumulating years is inevitable, but a lot of folks give in way too easily. Our two favourite self-propelled pastimes, sea kayaking and trail running, require a degree of fitness including a good measure of "balance". The fact is, however, both activities contribute generously to both general fitness and balance. There's just no down side there!
Over the years, I've become increasingly aware of the fact that as people age, it is all too often issues related to balance and stability that can have catastrophic effects on mobility. When we lose our balance, we risk falling, something which can change our quality of life forever. I've known many older folks over the years, who have tripped and fallen, broken a leg or a hip - and never walked again. That is so sad and it doesn't have to be that way. And here's the kicker - the fear of falling is as dangerous as the act of falling.
One of the very best indoor fitness tools we have ever owned, and one of the few that is not collecting dust, is a simple Bosu Ball. It lives in the kitchen and gets used all the time. I will eat my breakfast standing on it or listen to music - practising balancing on one leg. Sometimes I will bring a paddle inside, and simulate time on the water, with my eyes closed. It's great for squats. Paddlers need strong quads to get out of the kayak after multiple hours in the cockpit. (Actually, everyone needs strong quads - just to get out of a chair!) It's amazing how quickly the body learns to fine-tune its proprioceptive abilities which is all about knowing where we are in space and time and reacting with appropriate body movements. It's how we keep our balance.
For assisting with core stabilization or stability training, the Bosu is marvellous. For ensuring that we improve necessary balance at any age, it's an incredible piece of kit! It's no wonder every good gym has one - or more.
|A "centre piece" in our kitchen!"|
Top image: Early this morning, up Mount Tzouhalem looking out over Cowichan Bay.
Bottom image: Yep, that's the Bosu, on the kitchen floor.