As I was editing footage for our video series on body awareness for the FitOldDog Video Store, I came across an interesting photo of a squirrel crossing a power line. The picture was perfect as a backdrop to the closure of our video, in which we describe the use of a rock to study freedom of movement around the body’s changing center of gravity. Remember, we tend to get in our own way when it comes to body movement and athletics, unless we are skilled dancers or elite athletes. Good balance skills are key to any program of safe exercise for better health. Our short video presents a simple approach to the exploration of balance by embracing rather than fighting your center of gravity (going with the flow).
The location of your center of gravity is constantly changing as you carry things and move your trunk, limbs and head around. In this growing video series, Rebecca and I are using animals to represent the core point of each video. In the case of balance we chose the squirrel. The photograph of the squirrel, above, was from an interesting writing-oriented blog, the Thunderlutz Blogspot. The narrative was a sad one, but well written, so I commend it to you. I still stand amazed when I watch squirrels crossing the street along these narrow overhead ‘rope bridges.’ Clearly, squirrels rarely suffer from vertigo.
Humans are a different story. We experience vertigo under a number of conditions, including looking down from tall buildings, in response to severe dehydration, and increasingly as we age. Vertigo can be severely crippling, and is not to be underestimated as a health challenge. If you suffer from it for no apparent reason, try the Epley Maneuver, it might just work. I find that I cannot sustain flip turns in the pool for long swims because they mess with my sense of balance.
Recently, I suffered a severe case of vertigo, accompanied by uncontrollable vomiting (essentially like sea-sickness). It turned out that a series of training events, combined with lack of attention on my part, subjected my body to a state of extreme dehydration. A long hard swim in the pool, coupled with working on a computer screen, finally pushed me over edge; I completely lost my sense of balance and started to retch. Only one thing really helped in the short term. Yes! You’ve guessed it, my old friend Valium, which I would normally avoid like the plague, but it worked wonders for my vertigo that led to cessation of the vomiting, which resulted in my ability drink fluids and all was well. I guess I learned a lot that day, including the dangers of bonking out of context, but that’s another story (linked to first bottle, above).
So, think carefully before you accept or reject any pharmaceutical products, they can destroy or save your life.
Oh! Yes! Whatever you do, nurture your sense of balance in all things. Think like a squirrel, but watch out for the power lines.
PS I’m still wondering whether the squirrel goes around the tree or the tree goes around the squirrel?
Important Note: These posts do not provide medical advice. You should always consult your physician before undertaking or significantly modifying an exercise program.
Copyright © 2010 Kevin T. Morgan aka FitOldDog, Old Dogs in Training, LLC.
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