Got to the Gym bright and early this am. Did Workout C of the program I designed using the BBOE Template. Today included Single Leg DB Dead Lifts. The toughest part of this exercise is balancing on one leg.  It usually takes me several attempts before I find my groove.  Although I don’t enjoy single leg exercises, I included this one and the Single Leg Bench Get up.  Why?  Well the answer is summed up in this quote I grabbed off of one the numerous sites dealing with the effects of aging.

Your balance and co-ordination begin to decline when you are in your forties. Because the decline is very, very small (about 1% each year) it is often imperceptible. But by the time you are is 65 or 70, your balance and co-ordination have declined about 20% or, for some people, even more than that. And it will continue to decline. This is the reason why the falls are such a problem for the elderly.

When I started back to the gym over 4 years ago, the Personal Trainer that I worked with, had me doing several balance exercises.  I hated them – but I needed them.  Here is one example:  Stand on your left foot, raise the right leg in front of you so that your thigh is parallel to the ground, then move your leg out to the right and back and finally lower it to the floor.  Do that 10 times.  Then switch legs.

I had to stand next to a wall.  Slowly I moved away from the wall until I finally did not need the wall for balance.  Now – I can do that without a problem.

Other exercises included standing on a Bosu Ball platform and doing an exercise, or standing on one leg on a foam roller cut in half lengthwise so that you are standing on the curved side and touch that toe with your opposite hand.

I am still less than balanced.  But – I continue to work on these and related exercises, not just to increase my balance, but also to increase my functionality.  I want to get up from a seat without help,  I want to walk in tight spots and on uneven ground without fear of falling.  I want to be able to not be that old man who is afraid to DO.

After this morning’s workout, I met the family over at the Karate studio to watch my young grandson qualify for his Yellow Belt.  He is just a beginner – as they all are .  Adorable – no question.  The group of some 20 students ranged in age from 5ish to 7ish.  Their coordination and balance abilities were all over the place.  My heart went out to the kids whose balance and coordination lagged behind others.  That was me as a young child – damn – that has been me – my entire life. 

I will continue to focus on balance, not because I am good at it, but because I’m not.