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New lecture added April 12, 2016.
New lecture added January 1, 2016
"Paula is a wonderful teacher and presenter. The materials are great and offered in a very motivating way. Very convincing stuff! Thank you so much Paula." Rainer W
Most people don't spend any time thinking about their balance until it's too late - when they actually fall or injure themselves. But balance isn't just a concern for the elderly who are more prone to falls (and the serious complications those falls can cause). Balance training is important for health-conscious pupils who wish to age well, avoid falls, improve athletic ability, coordination, stamina and overall fitness and health.
If you haven't thought much about maintaining - or improving - your balance, now is a good time to start. Most of the exercises I've put together in this course involve activities to improve balance. Balance is a component of health that you must never overlook; without it, all of the weight training and exercise in the world won’t help you.
In order to have good balance, you rely on the information given to your brain from three main body systems: your ears, the nerve endings in your muscles, and your eyes (vision).
As children, we develop balance climbing trees, walking and running on unsteady surfaces, sports, games etc. As adults, we seldom think about balance and rarely practice it. When was the last time you climbed a jungle gym, walked over a log or trying to balance on one leg with your eyes closed? We do all of this and much much more in the course.
Your sense of vision is a big part of good balance. Vision works hand in hand with the inner ear to maintain balance. If you move your eyes or take vision out of the equation altogether, it's harder to balance. You might be surprised how challenging it is to simply stand with your eyes closed. We play a lot with removing vision during some of the more advanced exercises in this course.
By using the balance techniques in this course, you will start to really pay attention to your body as you exercise, and should notice improvements in your balance, coordination, POSTURE, core strength, agility and athletic skill. You even burn more calories during balance training! These exercises can be used to build confidence when you are trying new fitness programs and taken with you as you age to help prevent spills and falls.
Balance training is good for people of every age, so don't be afraid to start incorporating these exercises into your daily workouts. Everyone can benefit from the exercises in this course, and it's a really fun course; so you may not even notice that you are exercising!
A walk through the entire course; a brief summary of all six sections, including dos and don'ts and how to get the best results - improved balance, enhanced coordination, better posture, more core strength, agility and even athletic skill!
Gravity acts on our body in complex ways. Learning where are center of gravity is located, is crucial to your body's stability and balance. I'll show you how your posture is linked to your center of gravity. If your posture is poor, it alters the position of your center of gravity and this will throw you off balance every time.
Sit-ups and crunches puts your spinal discs at risk of degeneration and herniation (slipped disc). Most personal trainers are still teaching the wrong position for core exercises - a position that will wear out your discs, cause premature aging and ruin your posture and balance long-term. This super little exercise will show you how to engage your core when you are standing in a line, talking on the phone or simply walking down the street!
In the simplest terms, eye tracking is the measurement of eye activity. Where do we look? What do we ignore? When do we blink? Balance is achieved and maintained by a complex set of systems that include nerve input from the eyes (sight).
Most people don’t find it difficult to walk across a gravel path, or to transition from sidewalk to grass, or getting out of bed at night without stumbling. However, eye problems can lead to impaired balance. Symptoms of impaired balance can be quite unpleasant and include dizziness and vertigo.
When light hits the eyes, they send nerve impulses to the brain that provide visual cues identifying how a person is oriented relative to other objects. Exercising the eyes, is as important to preventing current or future balance problems as is exercising the body.
All there is to the sway exercise, is swaying! Swaying is a fairly straight forward exercise but it gets much harder when you remove a vital system of the body - the eyes!
Print this Cheat Sheet for easy image recall of all 4 balance basics.
Before embarking on any exercise program, it is your responsibility to discuss it with your doctor. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Except as expressly stated, Paula Moore does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned in the videos. Reliance on any information in this course is solely at your own risk.
If you're like most people, your feet have probably grown weak and inflexible — underused, crammed into inflexible work shoes, and idle most of the day under a desk. If we're not exercising our feet, they're not providing the support the rest of the body needs and something has to give - usually the knees, hips, back or shoulders.
Mobilization is a type of passive movement. When we mobilize the feet, we activate nerve receptors in the muscles and joints, that can lead to improved range of motion, increased flexibility, reduced pain, enhanced coordination and better balance.
Over many years in private practice, I've seen people with foot pain, heel pain, Achilles pain, shin pain, calf pain, knee pain, hip and back pain. The thing that they all had in common was tight calf muscles. Flexibility in the calf muscles is crucial to maintaining good posture and balance. This Calf Stretch is done standing on a sloping surface. The steeper the incline, the greater the stretch.
We all know how to keep our biceps in shape, but few of us know how to keep toes in good condition. Toes take significant abuse from the hours we spend on our feet each day, especially if we wear high-heel shoes. Learning to move our toes individually - a feat (pun intended) that seems almost impossible at first - is a skillful little exercise that will pay off big time!
Over many years, the feet conform to the narrow toe boxes of conventional footwear changing the shape of the feet and causing the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and soft tissues involved in standing, walking, and running to adapt in a less than ideal way. It is certainly possible to improve on this situation by regularly spacing your toes manually. This is one basic exercise that can easily become a healthy daily ritual or habit.
Heel Toe Rocking strengthens the lower legs to help endurance during walking and running. This lecture focuses on training the muscles in the lower legs. By varying the surface (carpet, sand, rocks etc), you will train your balance, upper legs, hips and trunk, as they aid body stabilization.
Going barefoot allows the feet to touch the ground directly, which works to awaken muscles that have diminished due to years of confinement in shoes. Barefoot walking stimulates nerve endings and re-activates our balance system. Barefooting even stimulates reflexology points on the bottom of our feet, which may lead to improved overall health and well-being.
Climbing is very much a physical and mental challenge. The rock presents a puzzle that you solve through body movements and different techniques in order to navigate the terrain. Most routes require unique footwork, a strong core and mental concentration.
It used to be that children climbed trees and now they’re too interested in their phones and computer games, and even those that seem quite sporty are often kept on tight leashes by their parents and are afraid to challenge themselves. Climbing trees, or in this case rocks, is great training for the brain, at any age.
The Rumble Roller uses high-profile bumps - "Their size, shape, spacing, and elasticity all contribute synergistically to their effect."
Rollers with humps and bumps are designed to:
Print this Cheat Sheet for easy image recall all 8 exercises for the feet.
You can actually realign your entire body just by moving your head. Forward head posture can add up to thirty pounds of forward pull on the neck and that is enough to pull the entire body out of its ideal alignment and greatly reduce the ability to balance. The effects of gravity and early aging can be reversed by retraining body posture. Our posture influences the position of the center of gravity and effects balance as we age.
The simple chin tuck is one posture exercise that is an absolute must in any good balance program.
Tandem stance is a measure of standing balance used to improve postural steadiness in a heel-to-toe position. The first few seconds of tandem stance pose the greatest challenge to postural steadiness. Four positional levels of progressive difficultly are taught in the Tandem Stance and then vision is taken out of the equation, making this a truly challenging task.
In theory, walking and running aren't two-legged activities. Sure, we use both legs, but really it's a series of one-legged stances linked together by the act of managing a controlled fall. There is never a time when both feet are on the ground at exactly the same time, during walking or running. It’s all about balancing one foot to another.
Balancing requires a high level of muscle activation inside the foot to keep the body stable. A level of increased difficultly can be added, by varying the surfaces used when balancing on one foot.
Daily activities and duties often require lifting. There are several different lifting techniques that can be used to pick up objects of different sizes and weights. The Golfer's Lift is appropriate for picking up small objects (golf balls) or larger lightweight items that can be held in one hand. The golfer's lift is performed while standing on one leg, requiring a high level of balance; but of course you don't need to be a golfer to benefit from this exercise.
Learn the very challenging One Leg Squat for intensely working out leg muscles, the abdominal core and the hip flexors, all the while improving balance.
When we walk, something needs to give, and it’s never going to be the hard concrete! It's going to be the ankles, knees, hips and back that will eventually pay the price. Learn to walk on the grassy bit beside the sidewalk – walk off piste!
When you walk, you inevitable come across a children’s playground, parking blocks, rocks and trees. Find ways to play with your environment. Your body will love you for it and your confidence will grow – it really will!
The walk-and-turn test is one of the standardized sobriety tests used by the police. Here we take a familiar tool and play with it. In this lecture we walk heel to toe down the faded parking lines in a (mostly) unused parking lot. Walk forward or backward - simple enough to do almost every time you go out walking.
Who needs balance beams when there are man made balance apparatus all around. In this lecture we locate an unused parking lot and walk the rugged unlevel parking blocks to improve our balance. Feeling adventurous? Try it backwards!
Walking with our eyes closed feels truly unnatural and a little scary even. This is due to mental conditioning - we know that when we walk into things, it hurts! Our most used sense is our ability to see and when we take that away, we have less neurological feedback about the things around us, making balance more challenging.
Backward walking, also known as retro walking, is said to have originated in ancient China, where it was practiced for good health. When we walk backwards, there is less strain on the knees. Backward walking also eliminates the typical heel-strike of forward walking (the toe contacts the ground first).
Walking backwards works out all of the leg muscles, especially the quadriceps and calves, which take a backseat to the hamstrings and glutes during regular walking. Now remove one of the primary senses - vision - and this becomes a great little balance practice.
Print this Cheat Sheet for easy image recall of all 5 walking exercises.
Bean bag (Hacky Sack) games make use of a fun and inexpensive prop for developing fine motor skills. In this lecture you will be introduced to the simple Ball Toss, made not so simple by closing the eyes and balancing on one foot. This will get you giggling!
* If you don't have a hacky sack or bean bag, use a small sock inverted on itself, making a tight ball. A tennis ball can be used but it is much harder than a hacky sack, so should be considered advanced level training.
Motor skills are a complex system of precise movements, and one key component in developing the Motor Skills necessary for balance, is coordination. The arm juggle will challenge even the most coordinated among us.
Gross Motor Skills, which are the larger movements of the arms, legs, feet, or the entire body, largely develop in childhood. Those of us who were highly active in childhood and who remained sporty as adults, may find their gross motor skills unimpaired, but for many adults who perhaps spent their childhood reading, or whose activity levels tapered off after school, gross motor skills can become impaired as we age.
The Leg Juggle combines strength, precision, speed, agility and coordination and if practiced regularly, can increase the capacity to acquire new motor skills that are essential for adaptive motor function and balance throughout life.
The Head-Leg-Behind-Juggle will have you in fits of laughter, or possibly cursing! In addition to being fun and entertaining, learning to practice Motor Skill's juggling is actually healthy for the mind and body. This lecture has the potential to improve eye-hand coordination, motor skills, physical fitness and balance. And don't underestimate this gravity-defying task as a way to help take your mind off the stresses of the daily grind.
Print this Cheat Sheet for easy recall of all 5 motor skiils exercises.
Playgrounds are not just for kids anymore, why should kids get all the fun? If you feel silly, there are plenty of adult outdoor playgrounds and high ropes courses to be found, but if you bring a child along with you to the local playground, you just look like super cool involved relative!
Climbing is a brilliant strength workout. If you climb for a longer period of time, you can work on your stamina, while shorter climbs are all about power. The element of risk makes for a fun experience and I find it a lot more fun than lifting weights!
Using a Balance Board will keep you having fun and enjoying your balance training while working you in ways you didn’t realize possible, just by adding the element of instability! Make your own and paint it (as I show you in this lecture), or invest in a little gift for yourself - Come on, if you've made it this far in the course, you deserve it!
Here are two I like (Google them):
The Kickbike is a scooter-bicycle hybrid designed in Finland. Like a bicycle, it has large, air-filled tires and hand brakes. What is doesn’t have is a seat or pedals, which means you stand on it and use your legs to propel you forward.
The Kickbike is lightweight and easy to maneuver when you need to lift it (say, to take it down some stairs) and there is no chain for your clothes to get caught. There’s also the added bonus that Kickbikes are incredibly cool-looking!
I love how the Kickbike works your heart (cardio), posture, strength, coordination and balance all at the same time, and if you push yourself to switch legs ever 5-10 strides, you've got the most brilliant balance exercise ever!
If historically, you haven't been very good at creating, or keeping your health habits, I've included a couple of valuable resources for you. You'll find the links to a blog post on dying motivation and another link for a video on how to form healthy habits that last - see Resources for download or follow the links below:
How to Resuscitate My Dying Motivation - http://bit.ly/1MpLXPW
How to Stop Bad Habits & Make Better Ones - https://youtu.be/x7HIv_hHAqQ
I Fell In Love With Posture!
I've been teaching Udemy courses since September 2014, and in that short period of time, I've created 5 courses, thousands of happy students have enrolled, with more than 300 reviews (average 5* rating) - wow!
People often ask me why I left a successful chiropractic practice, and I tell them that I was frustrated by the quick fix approach to health I found in private practice. I wanted to hand back control of health and that is exactly what I did. I took my posture tips and medical advice online and began making posture videos. Never did I imagine my posture videos would go viral, but they did!
I fell in love with posture and now, I'm a fully fledged Posture Doctor - that's what my pupils call me!
Best Selling Author
Paula is the best-selling author of The Posture Doctor and creator of a popular video blog on posture; and with over 5 million Youtube views, she is fast becoming the next big thing in online digital healthcare. Paula is a very popular keynote speaker who presents, Talks That Move You and has received international attention with interviews by the BBC and Breakfast Television, and is the 2012 winner of The Business Profile of the Year - London, UK.