5 Natural Movements You Should Be Able to Do at Any Age

In recent years, research continues to find that physical mobility is one of the strongest indicators of the risk of chronic disease as we age. In hospitals around the country, staff members at all levels are being trained to help screen patients for mobility upon admission and before their return to home. Walking is now considered a 6th vital sign and physicians are increasingly encouraged to screen their patients for their walking ability. 

In the clinic, we often aren’t seeing clients until they’re having a problem with their mobility. It’s our mission to make sure everyone has an awareness of subtle warning signs before there’s a problem. Upon every initial assessment, we screen our clients for 5 natural movements that give us a comprehensive picture of their mobility and help them guide their course of action. 

Below is the list of movements we perform at every initial assessment. If you can perform the 5 below movements AND maintain your...

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Want to Feel More Balanced? Start with Your Feet.

Did you know that 25% of your bones and muscles are located below the ankle? And yet our feet tend to be one of the most overlooked parts of our body, at least as far as proactive care goes. No one thinks about their feet until there’s a problem.

Due to the volume of joints and muscles of the feet, stiffness in this area of the body is one of the biggest contributors to balance problems. Your feet play a major role in the intricate systems that keeps you balanced. The more rigid your feet, the more difficult it is to balance.

One of the best places you can start to improve your balance is to improve the mobility of your feet. The more impact from the environment your feet absorb, the less work the rest of your body has to do to keep you balanced.

The first step to better foot mobility is to consider how you treat your feet daily. What kind of shoes do you wear? How much time do you spend with shoes off? How are your toes moving? Do you have foot pain? Are there caluses,...

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Need to Get Moving But Feel Overwhelmed? Start Here.

Do you realize your balance is declining, but feel lost on where to start improving it? Notice that your mobility isn’t what it used to be, but not sure how to take the first step to make it better?

We all get a little lost sometimes, especially when it comes to our health as we age. As a physical therapist, my job is to break things down into the smallest possible pieces to help get someone moving and build confidence. Taking small steps gets the ball rolling and banishes overwhelm.

Just remember, all it takes is just one step every day in the right direction. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with the list below to guide you in the right direction.

1. Start small and safe.

The best place to start to build balance and movement confidence is to break things down into smaller parts, perform a lot of repetitions, and set yourself up in a safe environment.

A great place to start is to write a list of all the movements you don’t feel confident doing. For...

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Video: The How and Why of the Calf Stretch

 

One of the first exercises we teach our new clients is the calf stretch. And for good reason!

We've written blog posts in the past about the importance of taking care of the health of your feet (which you can find here, here, and here). But long story short, your feet are your foundation. Improving your foot mobility is a great first step (pun intended) toward better health. 

Watch the video above to learn how to do the calf stretch. 

To set up: In this exercise, we use a half foam roll. But if you don't have a half foam roll a rolled up towel will work great! 

Take your shoes off, this exercise is best performed barefoot. Stand in front of your half foam roll (or towel) with your feet spaced pelvis width apart. Make sure your feet are aligned straight, like the cars on a tire. Look down and if they are angled outward take a minute to straighten them. Focus on maintaining this alignment throughout the exercise.

If you aren't sure about your balance, position...

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Do You Have the Mindset to Age Well?

Here at ABC, we do more than just teach you corrective exercise and natural movement. We make sure we set you up with the mindset you need to be successful because that can make or break how you age.

Keeping a positive mindset around aging can be a struggle, but can be just as powerful as the actions you take. Did you know that the stress created by the fear of developing medical conditions are stronger risk factors for these chronic conditions than any other physical risk factor? And that having a fear of falling actually makes you more likely to fall than having had a fall in the past?

This just goes to show the stories that we tell ourselves matter. So we can choose to focus on the positive or on the negative, but either choice we make will impact our lives for better or worse. So make the choice today to focus on the positive and see firsthand what a difference it makes!

 

Get your free copy of our Ebook: 5 Simple Steps to Take Control of Your Chronic Pain to...

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Balance: Does Your Perception Meet Reality?

 

Last summer for my 32nd birthday, I thought it would be a great idea to climb a tree. I hadn’t climbed a tree since I was very young, but it’s something I used to do all the time. So I thought nothing of it. Our front yard has a perfect climbing tree I’d been eyeing for some time.

We’ve all climbed trees as kids and felt confident in our ability to do it. The last time I climbed it was no problem and I assumed I would feel that way going into this. In fact, I thought getting myself onto the first branch would be easy. I could see a clear path to climb up a few branches beyond that.

But I think we all know where this story is going.

It turns out, climbing a tree is pretty difficult when you haven’t done it for a few decades. Not only did I need help getting up to the first low branch, once I was there I didn’t feel confident in my ability to stay balanced at all. I found myself staring at the ground, both hands on the branch, feeling as though I...

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Our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Movement-Lovers and Lifelong-Learners

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Looking for gift ideas for that person in your life who loves movement, being active, or learning?

We love books or courses that combine movement along with learning, and over the years have come up with quite a few favorites. 

Here is our ultimate list of gift suggestions for the movement-minded person in your life! We would never recommend anything we haven’t used and loved ourselves. You also might just find a few things in this list you are interested in yourself…. 

Books

  1. Any of the books by Katy Bowman, our favorites are Movement Matters, Alignment Matters, and Move Your DNA for a broader overview of living a movement-based lifestyle.  
  2. For those looking for more specific topics, we recommend her books Dynamic Aging, Whole Body Barefoot, and Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief: The New...
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25 Movement Tips to Be More Active Today

Think you can’t find enough time in your day to exercise? You’re likely just missing out on opportunities to move more throughout your day without changing much.

Try out any one of these movement tips to get more action out of your day!

  1. Sit on the floor instead of the couch.
  2. Put your laundry basket on the floor and squat to fold your laundry.
  3. Squat to unload your dishwasher.
  4. Stretch your calves or mobilize your feet while you wash your dishes, brush your teeth, watch TV, drink your coffee, etc.
  5. Pull all the weeds in your yard by hand instead of using weed killers (bonus as this is better for the environment too)!
  6. Park in the back of the parking lot.
  7. Take the elevator instead of the stairs.
  8. Use less convenient appliances.
  9. Make your chores less efficient. For example, put the laundry basket in a different room than where you are putting the clothes away to get a few more steps in.
  10. Use a drying rack or clothes line instead of the dryer. This not only decreases...
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Video FAQ: Is It Normal to Decline With Age?

 

We wish the answer to the question, "Is it normal to decline with age?" was more obvious.

One of the most common themes we hear from our clients is that the decline they are experiencing was inevitable because of their age...

We are here to tell you this absolutely does NOT have to be normal! 

In this video, we dispel some of the most common MYTHS we hear, including:

  • "It's normal to start falling as I get older"
  • "I'm too old for my balance to get better"
  • "I've been told I will be in pain for the rest of my life"
  • "Because I have arthritis I will always have pain"
  • And more...

If the above sound like anything you have ever found yourself thinking or have ever heard, this video is for you!

Let us know what other aging myths you believe or have heard and reach out to us! We would love to provide you the resources you need to age gracefully.

 

Get your free copy of our Ebook: 5 Simple Steps to Take Control of Your Chronic Pain to finally have an...

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Video FAQ: What Can Be Done to Treat Knee Arthritis?

 

One of the most common topics we discuss with our clients is knee osteoarthritis (OA). Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation, even from trusted medical professionals, on the treatment options for knee OA! 

No matter what the severity of knee OA is, anyone with OA can benefit from strengthening and mobility training. For everyone with arthritis, we assess skills like squatting, getting out of a chair, getting on and off the floor, and walking to start to detect muscle imbalances or irregular movement patterns. The treatment approach is simple- we treat what we find! For some people that might be treating muscle weakness with a strengthening program, focus on flexibility to improve mobility, or even changing footwear!

Watch the video above for more information on knee OA and reach out to us at [email protected] with any further questions! 

 

Get your free copy of our Ebook: 5 Simple Steps to Take Control of Your Chronic Pain to finally...

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