Keeping one's balance is important to all. Here's a way to help.
THE MOVES: Doorway forward/backward sway.
WORKS ON: Balance and body awareness.
SET-UP: Choose a doorway that has the same floor surfaces on both sides. Stand in the doorway as if you were going to straddle the threshold. Stand with your best posture and with your hands in a comfortable position. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart at the beginning and can move closer together as you improve.
KEEPING YOUR BALANCE - Firefighter Jay Albrandt works on his balance with the forward/backward sway movement. Keeping his body stiff and feet flat on the floor, he moves out over his toes and then back over his heels. CNS Photo by Howard Lipin.
STEP 1: Visualize your body being stiff like a board. With this posture, you will sway forward over your toes and then back toward the heels. These movements are very subtle and controlled. First, allow your chest to move forward over your toes without bending at the waist, hips or knees. Go as far as you can without losing balance, or until you feel your heels wanting to lift from the ground. Pause for a second, then sway in the opposite direction toward your heels. Sway toward your heels as far as comfortable. Pause and repeat.
REPETITIONS: Perform this activity for one to five minutes a day.
PRECAUTIONS: Losing balance and falling is a real hazard with this exercise! Until you have complete confidence, place a hand on the doorway, one in front, one in back, while you practice.
OPTIONS: For more challenge, add slow head movements to the sway.