Wednesday musings, 9/14/16: looking down

Wednesday musings, 9/14/16
I have two clients. Both are female, approximately 30 years apart in age. Both are active, both have flare-ups, in different places. Both look down when they are concentrating, or walking, or thinking.

It’s no secret our eyes tell us where we are located in space. A 2002 study* suggested it becomes important as we age to maintain adequate mobility in our ankles to reduce risk of falling. Our ankles and feet are filled with sensory receptors that provide our brain with feedback regarding postural position. If our eyesight is diminishing, we need to rely on other inputs to maintain a sense of stability. Conversely, if we lack good awareness in our feet and mobility in our ankles, we will look down to keep us upright. 

I encourage both of these women to look out when they are performing an exercise or walking in a safe space. It changes the way they carry themselves, and forces them to use their feet in a slightly different way. The next time you are learning a new exercise, notice if you look down to “see” what is happening. If you do, try and look out. Does it change the way the exercise feels? Does it make it easier or harder? And don’t forget to maintain mobility in your ankles.

*Study abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11937474