How Balanced Are You?

How balanced are you?

How balanced are you?

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Use it or lose it!” when it comes to your muscles and fitness level.  Well, the same goes for your noggin. Our brains, like muscles, shrink and grow in response to certain stimuli. When we stretch ourselves mentally we avoid brain atrophy.  The key to a younger, sharper mind is to constantly be challenging it.

Here’s a fun little test from “You Staying Young” by Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen. (I highly recommend this “Owner’s Manual for Extending Your Warranty.”)

Stand on one foot, extend your arms out to the sides, and keep yourself balanced (legs do not touch each other).  Now close your eyes.  Stand as long as you can before you have to grab something to get your balance. (Best to do this with a spotter or next to a wall.)

The threshold for success is thirty seconds at age thirty and fifteen seconds at age forty and up.  If you can’t make those times you are lacking balance strength (i.e., brain strength), making you more susceptible to falling and putting you at higher risk for breaking your bones.

When I saw the test I thought, “Piece of dark chocolate cake!”  Boy, was I in for a surprise.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.  I started with balancing on my right leg and was able to hold for 39 seconds.  I switched to my left and failed miserably at my first attempt—only 5 seconds—then managed to hold (somewhat) still for 37 seconds on my next try.  I was amazed at how unsteady I became when I closed my eyes.  I did the balance test barefoot, which makes it more challenging, and I suggest you do the same.  Or, try it with both shoes and bare feet to see the difference.  (What I definitely don’t recommend is trying this test while wearing high heels or holding a martini!)

If you need more practice with your balancing act, I suggest you review my “Strive for a Balanced Brush.”  And, don’t forget about the Wii Fit—it’s loaded with fun games that will definitely challenge your mind & body.

About Annette Cain

Annette Cain is an award-winning author, endurance athlete and certified personal trainer.

Known as the Longevity Lady™ Annette helps baby boomers age stronger so their bodies can keep up with their lives. Her ageless lifestyle products and programs provide an easy and balanced approach to becoming lean & limber and living younger longer.

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