Life with kids demands putting a lot of things in a new perspective and people often use the metaphor of “balance” to describe how to keep it all together. Keeping real, physical balance is important though too, especially as you find less time to hit the gym. Here’s a simple test to see if you still have the stuff to take your balancing act on the road. Don’t be surprised if the first time you try this, you fall over. Good luck!
- Stand straight, wearing flat, closed shoes, with your arms folded across your chest. Raise one leg, bending the knee about 45 degrees, start a stopwatch and close your eyes.
- Remain on one leg, stopping the watch immediately if you uncross your arms, tilt sideways more than 45 degrees, move the leg you are standing on or touch the raised leg to the floor.
- Repeat this test with the other leg.
Now, compare your performance to the norms for various ages:
20 to 49 years old: 24 to 28 seconds.
50 to 59 years: 21 seconds.
60 to 69 years: 10 seconds.
80 and older: most cannot do it at all.
If you are wise, whatever your age, you will want to strive for the norm of those younger than 50. To increase stability and strengthen the legs, stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms straight out in front. Lift one foot behind, bending the knee at 45 degrees. Hold that position for five seconds or longer, if possible.
[From Preserving a Fundamental Sense: Balance – New York Times]