Finding balance: 3 simple exercises to steady your steps

A healthy life requires balance — and not just in a metaphorical sense. Being able to maintain physical balance is crucial to performing everyday activities from going up and down the stairs to reaching for an item on a shelf at the supermarket. But while many people squeeze in a daily walk and may even do some strength training exercises a few times a week, exercises to build balance don’t always make the workout list. They should, according to experts.

As you get older, the physical systems inside your body that help you maintain your balance aren’t as responsive as they were when you were younger. Maintaining balance is actually a complex task for your body, requiring coordinated action from not only your muscles, but also your eyes, ears, tendons, bones, and brain.

In addition, health problems that become more common with age, such as inner ear disorders, decreased sensation in feet, or postural hypotension (low blood pressure with standing) may leave you feeling unsteady.

Practicing exercises designed to improve your balance can help keep you upright and prevent a fall that causes injuries.

Building balance three ways

You may wonder, what exactly is a balance exercise?

Standing on one foot? Yes, that qualifies. It falls into a category called static balance exercises. These improve your balance when you’re standing still. But a good balance workout should also include dynamic exercises, which are aimed at building balance when you are moving. Ideally, you should try to incorporate a few of these exercises two or three times a week.

Below are three simple exercises that you can get use to get started. The first is a static balance exercise and the other two are dynamic balance exercises. For additional ideas, read this blog post on the BEEP program.

Tandem standing

Reps: 1
Sets: 1 to 3
Intensity: Light to moderate
Hold: 5 to 30 seconds

Starting position: Stand up straight, feet hip-width apart and weight distributed evenly on both feet. Put your arms at your sides and brace your abdominal muscles.

Movement: Place your left foot directly in front of your right foot, heel to toe, and squeeze your inner thighs together. Lift your arms out to your sides at shoulder level to help you balance. Hold. Return to the starting position, then repeat with your right foot in front. This completes one rep.

Tips and techniques:

  • Pick a spot straight ahead of you to focus on.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles, buttocks, and inner thighs to assist with balance.
  • Keep your shoulders down and back.

Make it easier: Hold on to the back of a chair or counter with one hand.

Make it harder: Hold the position for 60 seconds; close your eyes.

Braiding



Reps: 10 to each side
Sets: 1 to 3
Intensity: Light to moderate
Tempo: Slow and controlled

Starting position: Stand up straight, feet together and weight evenly distributed on both feet. Put your arms at your sides.

Movement: Step toward the right with your right foot. Cross in front with your left foot, step out again with the right foot, and cross behind with your left foot. Continue this braiding for 10 steps to the right, then bring your feet together. Hold until steady. Now do 10 steps of braiding to the left side of the room. This completes one set.

Tips and techniques:

  • Maintain neutral posture throughout.
  • Look ahead of you instead of down at your feet.
  • Don’t turn your feet out.

Make it easier: Take smaller steps.

Make it harder: Pick up your pace while staying in control of the movement.

Rock step

Reps: 10 on each side
Sets: 1 to 3
Intensity: Moderate to high
Tempo: 2–2–2–2

Starting position: Stand up straight, feet together and weight evenly distributed on both feet. Lift your arms out to each side.

Movement: Step forward with your left foot and lift up your right knee. Hold. Step back with your right foot and lift up your left knee. This completes one rep. Finish all reps with the left foot leading, then repeat by leading with the right foot. This completes one set.

Tips and techniques:

  • Tighten the buttock of the standing leg for stability.
  • Maintain good posture throughout.
  • Breathe comfortably.

Make it easier: Hold on to the back of a chair with one hand for support; lift your knee less.

Make it harder: Hold each knee up for a count of four.


Exercise photos by Michael Carroll

Stuttering in children: How parents can help

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When a child starts to stutter, it can be alarming for parents. But most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about.

Stuttering is very common. In fact, according to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 5% to 10% of all children stutter at some point, usually between 2 and 6 years of age.

Stuttering takes different forms

Children who stutter know what they want to say; they simply run into trouble when saying it. There are three different kinds of stuttering:

  • Repetitions, when children repeat a word or parts of a word (“Can I pet your d-d-d-d-dog?”)
  • Prolongations, when they stretch a sound for a long period of time (“Sssssssssstop it!”)
  • Blocks, when they have a hard time getting words out.

Stuttering is more common in boys than girls and can run in families. We do not understand exactly what causes it. Most likely, it occurs due to a combination of factors, which may differ in each child who stutters.

Developmental stuttering, the most common form of this speech disorder, happens as children are learning speech and language skills. Stuttering can be caused by a brain injury, but that’s far less common. Contrary to what many people believe, it is rare for stuttering to be caused by psychological factors.

Helping your child manage stuttering

Nonetheless, stuttering can cause distress and stress for children and parents alike. That’s why the best way to manage stuttering is not to focus on it, but rather to be patient and supportive. For example, the NIDCD suggests that parents of children who stutter should

  • create relaxed environments for conversation: set aside time each day to catch up with your child
  • speak in a slow and relaxed way yourself
  • resist the temptation to finish your child’s words or sentences yourself; let them finish
  • focus on the content of the message rather than how it is delivered.

To the extent that you can, ignore the stuttering — but if your child brings it up or seems bothered by it, be open and accepting. Acknowledge that it is happening, but tell your child that it is fine and they shouldn’t worry. Also see additional tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics on ways parents can help toddlers and preschoolers with stuttering.

When to get more help with stuttering

Most stuttering goes away by itself within about six months; overall, 75% of children who stutter stop completely. You should talk to your pediatrician or a speech-language pathologist if

  • the stuttering has continued for more than 6 to 12 months
  • the stuttering started after ages 3 to 4 years, as this may make it more likely to continue
  • the stuttering has increased in severity or frequency
  • there is a family history of stuttering that continued past early childhood
  • your child is upset or frustrated by the stuttering.

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Paso a paso para aplicar el corrector en ojeras sin ninguna textura – Nueva Mujer

Una buena aplicación ayudará a que tu maquillaje luzca hermoso

Las mujeres disfrutamos usar maquillaje porque su objetivo es realzar nuestras facciones y crear looks que vayan con nuestro estilo personal. Sin embargo, todo puede resultar mal si no aplicas las técnicas adecuadas, de modo que te presentaremos la manera acertada de aplicar el corrector en ojeras sin ninguna textura.

Sabemos que el maquillaje es perfecto para cubrir imperfecciones e, incluso, disimular algunas arrugas. Pero esto solo es posible con los productos y técnicas correctos.

En ocasiones aplicamos el maquillaje de una forma errada, con exceso de productos en ciertas áreas, colores que no son pertinentes o herramientas equivocadas.

El área de los ojos suele ser una zona crucial para el maquillaje, ya que en esta es donde más líneas de expresión suelen concentrarse, de tal manera que una mala aplicación puede acentuar aquello que, realmente, nos gustaría atenuar.

Además, tiene una de las pieles más delicadas, por lo que las malas técnicas no solo te resaltarán arrugas, sino que podría profundizarlas.

En este sentido, es crucial que no solo cuentes con una buena técnica de maquillaje, sino una buena rutina de cuidado de la piel que te ayude a lograr un buen acabado.

Así debes aplicar el corrector en ojeras para evitar texturas

Existen varios factores que debes cuidar al momento de maquillar los ojos y es importante conocerlos, ya que si fallas en uno de estos podrías estar afectando a cada paso que sí cuidas realmente.

La hidratación de la piel, la cantidad de cada producto que utilizas, la selección de los tonos adecuados para tu tez y la técnica que usas, son algunas de las principales características que debes conocer al momento de maquillar los ojos.

Además, es importante que entiendas que el área se conforma por diversas texturas y cada una de estas debe ser atendida de forma diferente.

Prepara la piel antes del corrector

La hidratación y protección de la piel es crucial antes de maquillar, pues no solo hará que los productos luzcan mejor en la piel, sino que la ayudará a mantenerse saludable y joven.

Con una buena hidratación, el corrector se acentuarán mucho mejor y no se acumularán en áreas.

Aplica una cantidad adecuada

En nuestro deseo de crear un efecto mate perfecto, muchas de nosotras cometemos el error de aplicar demasiado corrector.

Si seleccionas el color incorrecto y se pone una capa demasiado gruesa, terminarás resaltando sus arrugas y haciendo que la cara se vea envejecida.

Construye la cobertura capa por capa

Existen ciertas técnicas que debemos seguir al momento de aplicar cada una de las capas de nuestro maquillaje, sin embargo, muchas personas suelen hacer demasiada presión en la piel, frotar con fuerza o tallar demasiado, esto puede promover el envejecimiento prematuro y dejar un acabado indeseado.