Having Good Balance Is a Powerful Indicator of How Long and How Healthy Our Life Will Be
Ric Edelman: Time now for everybody's favorite segment of the program, a visit by my wife, Jean Edelman. Jean is a student of the Healing Arts, Reiki, traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture and of course, macrobiotic and plant-based cooking. Here's Jean.
Jean Edelman: Great to be with you this week. So two things that we need throughout our life: strength and balance. But especially so when we are coming into our later years. If you work out, you're good about your weight training and maintaining your upper body strength. But when was the last time you tried to stand on one leg? Or better yet, stand on one leg with your eyes closed? Balance is so important because falls are the most common cause of accidental death. So let's bring this skill into our awareness and begin to practice standing on one leg so we don't become one of the statistics. We need a good balance because our ability to maintain our balance actually does deteriorate as we get older. And so having good balance is a powerful indicator of how long and how healthy our life will be. So here's our action item and our practice for the week. We're going to take off our shoes, we're going to put our hands on our hips, and we're going to focus on one spot in front of us. And then I want you to do this near a wall or something that you can grab on to, if you do start getting a little wobbly. We're going to stand on one leg. Now, if you're under 50, you should be able to do this for about 45 seconds. If you're over 50, we cut down to about 32 seconds. And if you're in your 60s and 70s, that gets even shorter. So let's see, how long can you last? Please be careful.
Jean Edelman: And when you try this again, stand near a wall or furniture so that you have something to grab on to. Now that you think you have this, now, try it with your eyes closed. Wow. That's a lot harder. So if you're under 50 with your eyes closed, you should be able to last about 13 seconds. But if you're over 50 with your eyes closed, you might last 8 seconds. I know this is crazy. So now try the same exercise on your other leg. Eyes open, eyes closed. Again, near something that you can grab. Okay, so the question is, why does this matter? This exercise taxes our brain. Our brain uses three types of information to keep upright our eyes, our vestibular system (which is our inner ear) and our propria receptors, which is our limbs. They are sending signals to our brain. So when we close our eyes, our brain has to work harder to keep steady. The great news is that we can improve our balance with activities like yoga, tai chi, Chee Kong. We can practice while we're brushing our teeth. This can be a game changer in our everyday health. I encourage you to start practicing.
Jean Edelman: So my word of the week, it's going to be balance.
The B is for bright
Sunny, shiny, full of light. That's us when we are in good health and all of these little pieces fit together. And we just need to take the baby steps to get there.
The A is for active
Having movement. Life is movement. We need to do everything in our power to stay limber and fluid and active, to have a happy, healthy life.
The L is for love
To care deeply. We need to love ourselves. We need to make time for our self-care. And this is important to build our balance. We have a lot of years ahead of us. We want to be healthy.
The A is for amazing
Full of wonderment and excitement. That is life to be amazing and excited for every day. But we can only do that if we're feeling good and we're mobile and we want to get out and be in our day.
The N is for nascent
Something that is just beginning. You know what? We can start today to work on our balance routine. Everything is new and we get to choose our path to health everyday. If we start today, we'll be better tomorrow. We'll be better in a week. We'll be better in a year.
The C is for calm
Freedom from stress.
And the E is for easily, without difficulty
If we take time now, tomorrow will go much more easily. Practice that balance. I've often said that life is cumulative. What we eat, how we exercise, what we do today, it's cumulative to tomorrow. And so the baby steps, when we reach our later years, we will be so happy that we worked on our strength, that we worked on our balance. Have a great week, everyone.
Ric Edelman: That's my wife, Jean Edelman, here on The Truth About Your Future. And if you want to get more of Jean's words of the week, just go to TheTruthAYF.com.