Improving balance: What if you never had to worry about “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up?”

Improving Balance: For sixty thousand years, humans rarely walked on a smooth, flat surface.  We walked where the animals we hunted walked.  And shoes, even simple sandals, came way after Mother Nature incorporated all the benefits of barefoot walking in rough terrain into our DNA.

Today, we do our hunting at Burger King, KFC, and Costco.  And the only rough terrain we might struggle with is a crack in the parking lot.

References: BrainHQ blog – Mike Metzger, PhD; Gundry MD blog – Dr. Steven Gundry newsletter

Improving balance basics…

Remember those three loops in your inner ear you learned about in high school biology?  The ones that help you maintain your balance?  If you want to make certain you stay sure-footed (ergo, don’t start falling on your butt and breaking things) you need to start challenging yourself by walking on messy, difficult surfaces.

Another benefit to walking on rougher terrain is that the fine motor fibers in your leg muscles get stressed and therefore stay strong so you can catch yourself if you do start to tip (and fall on your butt and break things).  Because if you don’t work those fine motor fibers, they can “go away” and there’s no getting them back.  That scared the heck out of me when I learned that.

Improving balance activities

Here are a few activities that can help give your inner ear, fine motor fibers, and your core muscles, a workout.

Improving balance: walk on beach sand like you did as a kid

Idea 1: Be a Beach Bum

Walking on shifting sand gives your brain, inner ear, and lower-body and leg muscles a nice workout. Plus, if walking on the beach doesn’t lower your stress level, you’ve got more serious problems than “fall down go boom.”

Idea 2: Take the Rocky Road (no, not the ice cream!)

Try an off-trail hike, cobblestone road, or balancing through rocks along a streambed to challenge your balance.  Or when you’re following a sidewalk, walk on the grass beside the sidewalk.

Idea 3: Feel the Grass (the kind you smo…I mean mow.)

Walking with shoes or hiking boots makes walking easier, but that’s the opposite of what we are trying to achieve here.  Take off your shoes and walk through a grassy lawn or field and feel your leg muscles, calves, and ankles building strength, stamina, and a sexy profile.

Idea 4: Walk Backwards, blindfolded, with one foot tied behind your neck…

I’m kidding!  But not about walking backwards.  The workout for balance and strength can be really impressive because you’re challenging your brain and body to do something they almost never do.  And that can be as impressive for improving your brain as it is for your body.

More ideas…

There’s always something to be learned from a 5,000-year-old culture…

One study on this topic grew out of a Chinese tradition of cobblestone walking paths.  Researchers at the Oregon Research Institute investigated whether walking on cobblestone paths would improve balance and mobility when compared to general walking.  It did.  It also led to a decrease in blood pressure.  Of course, trying to find a cobblestone path can be almost as challenging and possibly raise your blood pressure!

Is there an option for improving balance from home?

If you don’t have access to sand or rough ground (which is just about impossible unless you live in a fully paved city), there is a home option: wobble pad.  You can buy a wobble pad to use at home, in your garage, or your basement.

Wobble pad. I have a round one in my office but this one looks easier.

And the zero-cost option for improving balance for seniors is used by Dr. Steven Gundry himself…

While brushing his teeth, he stands on first one foot and then the other.  Try it.  It’s not as easy as it sounds and that means your vestibular system (those three weird loops in your inner ear that help you balance), core muscles and leg muscles get a workout.

Dr. Gundry was a heart surgeon for 30 years; I believe he knows what he’s doing.

Other free options…

If you’re feeling really funky, crank up the music and dance!  And not that shuffling in one place crap.  I mean kick up you’re heels!  Nobody’s watching!  Schwarzenegger growl: DO IT NOW!!!

And while you’re at it, don’t let anyone convince you that “brain fog” and losing your memory is just part of aging.  It’s not!

Please get BrainHQ (starts out free) from Mike Metzger, PhD.  I’ve read all about his 30 years of research into creating games that actually work (most other online brain-development games have no research to back them up) for growing and stimulating your BRAINS! BRAINS! YUMMY BRAINS!…sorry…and I use BrainHQ myself.  (BrainHQ is not an affiliate link.  They don’t have an affiliate program.)

It’s scary how fast things start to improve when you use BrainHQ every day.  I do.  (I heard that!)

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Skip to content