By Martin Sigrist
You don’t have to go to a gym in order to exercise. It’s much easier to incorporate “workouts” in to your daily routine.
Here’s a classic example. It helps train balance, mobility and stability. All three are vital to everyday health and all three are essential parts of living lives that are not only long but enjoyed to the full.
It couldn’t be simpler. Whenever you put on a pair of socks do it standing up.
This requires you to lift one leg off the floor and raise it high enough into the air that you can reach down and slip your sock on without falling over.
It’s a full body workout, every major joint in the body has a part to play. It’s single leg so identifies any left/right weaknesses. Even the brain is kept engaged, it will learn to keep you upright despite being in an unstable position, learning that could save you serious injury or worse if you ever stumble by accident.
If you can do this without problems then great, just do it every time from now on.
If you struggle but manage try to identify where the main problem lies. It may be balance, it may be hip flexibility, it may be upper body mobility. Whichever, work on them and test your improvement by giving yourself marks out of ten when you put on your socks.
If you find it impossible and you do not have a condition that explains why then it may be worth seeking professional help. Apart from fixing a root cause issue that is best sorted out sooner rather than later it will also act as a useful screening test. Anybody who sells their services in the field of strength/conditioning or physiotherapy should understand why what you are asking is important, be able to diagnose the reasons why you cannot manage and prescribe fixes. If they can’t then best look elsewhere. If they can and sort you out then keep their number.
Now among the world’s fittest sexagenarians Martin Sigrist started riding on doctor’s orders in 2005 and had to push his bike up his first hill. Next year he soloed the Tour de France. He has since experienced every form of road cycling from criterium to ultra endurance. His ongoing mission is to use the latest in science and technology to fight a, so far successful, battle against Father Time.