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!

 

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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 info@advancedbalance.org 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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Video FAQ: How Does Balance Work?

 

As the name of our business (Advanced Balance Clinic) implies, we spend a lot of our day working with those who have balance problems! So we are often asked to explain where balance problems might be coming from.

Balance is a complex interaction between your sensory systems, the brain, and your muscles. Your sense constantly take in information about your environment and how you are moving relative to your environment, they communicate this information with your brain, and your brain then tells your body how to move. Most of this happens without you realizing it until there is a balance problem! Read more about the balance systems here or watch the video above for further information.

A few simple screening tests and measures help us determine what is causing an individuals balance problem, and we then treat what we find! Some balance problems are caused by simple muscle weakness, whereas others might be due to vision problems or vertigo. If we are unable to treat the problem,...

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Quick Test: What Does Actual Shoulder Mobility Look Like?

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and indoor

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and indoor

A key component in maintaining strong, healthy shoulder joints is understanding how to differentiate between using actual shoulder movement v. other movements to compensate for a lack of shoulder mobility.

As the above photos demonstrate, more than one motion can be used to reach arms overhead. Many of us mistakenly believe we're using shoulder mobility to accomplish this motion.

The first photo shows someone reaching arms overhead to touch the wall behind them. At a glance, this might look like fantastic shoulder mobility, but take a closer look at what is happening at the rib cage. It moved away from the wall to help move the arms further overhead. Once the end of actual shoulder mobility is reached, rib cage thrusting can help us achieve further movement without using the shoulders but using the low back instead. 

Is this a problem? Not always. But if you are looking to improve actual shoulder joint mobility, compensating with rib cage thrusting bypasses the...

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What is a Floor Transfer?

 

Why do we care so much about your ability to get on and off the floor?
 
Because the ability to get on and off the floor without the use of your hands is a strong physical predictor of early disability and death.
 
This is why one of the first skills we cover with new clients is getting on and off the floor. Not only is this a life-saving skill but it's also one of our favorite exercises for healthy aging!
 
There are an infinite number of ways you can get on and off the floor, as well as unlimited options for sitting positions once you are on the floor. The confidence to know you can safely and easily get off the floor decreases your future risk of falls!
 
If you're currently able to get yourself on and off the floor, continue to practice this skill daily. If you are unsure, see a physical or occupational therapist for a floor transfer test. 
 
A floor transfer test is nothing fancy. As shown in the pictures above, the...
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