It’s all a question of balance.
No, for once I am not talking about my life in general though that is certainly, as
regular readers know, all about finding the right balance between caring for Mr B and looking after myself. The fact is that, in the interests of the latter, I have introduced a new exercise into my regime.
To be honest, to call it a “regime” is a bit of an exaggeration but if it makes me feel good about it, then I feel a little exaggeration can be excused. Also, Mr B would probably feel that, with all the gadding
about I engage in, the balance is rather too far weighted in my favour. I could remind him that when an aeroplane flies into difficulties necessitating the oxygen masks descending in a tumble from on high, the official advice is to fix your own mask on, before
helping small children in your care. Mr B, however, would doubtless argue that (i) we haven’t flown in an aeroplane for nearly seven years and (ii) we don’t have any small ones with us. This is the point at which I trot out into the hallway to
practise my balancing act.
Most of my daily exercises were given me by my physiotherapist, the Sweet Sophia, to strengthen my Recovering Shoulder. While deciding
she didn’t need to see me any more (I can’t blame her, I probably wouldn’t want to see myself anymore if I were her) she suggested that I carry on with my exercises forever. Well, she didn’t actually say “forever” but that
is the interpretation I placed upon her advice. Seven months on and I am still carrying out daily arm exercises which I have named “Beans in Bed”, “Circles”, “Up the Wall” and “Band Down.” I suggest you don’t
try googling them because I’m pretty sure you won’t find them in any physiotherapy tome.
To these four exercises I have now added two more - Chair
Stand and Balance. Both are exercises which various physiotherapists in the past have tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade Mr B to practise. Chair Stand involves sitting in a chair without arms (oh, for goodness sake - it is the chair that has no arms, not me,
sometimes I really, really wonder what planet you are on..) and then standing up and sitting down over a period of thirty seconds. This exercise assesses leg strength and endurance, both of which I feel I am currently lacking. For my age group, I need to be
able to complete 15 chair stands in the half a minute in order to be above average (I am very keen to be above average) but at the moment I haven’t worked out how to stand up and sit down repeatedly while at the same time checking the stop watch on my
mobile phone. If anyone has a solution to this problem, I should be very glad to hear it. There seems to be a disagreement among the experts as to whether the arms should be raised to shoulder height at the same time as rising from the chair or whether one’s
arms should be crossed at the wrists and held tightly to the chest. In the interests of not offending either school of thought, I alternate between the two which may, or may not, affect my performance.
Balance is much, much more difficult. I have to walk heel to toe for twenty steps with my arms by my sides without tottering. Apparently toddlers are very, very good at heel to toe walking but unfortunately I am not a toddler.
This exercise is excellent for improving one’s gait and lessening the likelihood of falling. I do this exercise in the hallway as it is exactly twenty three steps from the front door to the door into the living room. Plus the hall is narrow enough so
that if I totter I can steady myself on the wall. One of the advantages of perfecting this exercise is that it is used by the police to check levels of intoxication. Not that I have ever been required to prove how intoxicated I am but you never know when it
might come in useful.
It is possible that you, dear readers, are questioning my commitment to exercise. This regime of mine isn’t exactly going to stand
me in good stead should I decide to run a marathon. I am, however, encouraged by a newspaper article I read recently which suggests it isn’t the exercises in themselves that matter but the regularity with which one practises them.
It’s all a question of balance, don’t you know?