How to improve your balance…in 10?

I found out a couple of weeks ago that our local library is hosting a How-To-in-10-Minutes fair. Very neat. There are lots of interesting ideas that will be presented ranging from flower arranging, emergency preparedness, seed starting, to becoming a citizen scientist. Move Anew will be there too and that bit about the citizen scientist got the wheels turning a bit (read on!).

When I heard about the fair, I immediately thought about balance. There are so many reasons why improving your balance is a good idea (and being able to slackline to impress your friends is only one!). Everyone I KNOW (myself included) could benefit from better balance. And so, I decided to present “How to Improve your Balance in 10 Minutes”.

There are a lot of working parts in balance. Your eyes, ears, skin, joints, and muscles gather information which travels really really quickly* (up to 100 metres per second!1) to the brainstem before the appropriate reaction is determined and sent back to your eyes and muscles in the foot, ankle, leg, and hip. And arms, too, if you’re the windmilling type. Hopefully all of that happens before you end up on your bum, or face, or outstretched hand (ouch).

*As an aside, I initially wanted to write that the information travels “lightening quick” but then I thought that I should look up just how quick that is… It turns out that a bolt of lightning travels at approximately 97 536 000 m/s2 and the light from lightning travels to your eyes at the speed of light which is approximately 300 000 000 m/s. So, a LOT faster than nerves. The more you know!

Someone with good balance generally has decent strength in specific places, and the neural coordination for the signals to be sent and received efficiently. Practicing good balance habits ensures that when you need it, it’s there. Having the system tuned and ready to help you recover from a slippery situation can save you from serious injury.

Helping others to improve their balance is now a big important goal of mine. I know it can be done over a longer period of time… but 10 minutes? The scientist in me wants to know. At best, I’ll show that balance can be improved in as little as 10 minutes. At worst, those who participate will walk away with proven tools that they can use to help improve their balance over time. Everybody wins!

The plan…

On Saturday, I will test the following hypothesis:

If a person participates in the “How to Improve Your Balance in 10 Minutes” session at the Perth Union Library on April 21st, then their balance will improve measurably.

Sounds kinda serious, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, it’ll be lots of fun.¬†Consider coming on by to try it out, and bring a friend! Don’t forget to check back here next week to find out the official results!

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