Mental And Physical Awareness Training For The Older Athlete


Hi folks,

FitOldDog Training Wheel

FitOldDog Training Wheel

I recently introduced my ‘FitOldDog Training Wheel.’ It is not pretty, but I suspect that it presents an effective means of reducing exercise-induced injuries and optimizing enjoyment of the process. You will note at the top of the wheel lies awareness. But what exactly do I mean by this apparently vague term? I mean many things, which can be divided into three lists of things of which you should be aware, or work on to be increasingly aware. There is awareness of the state or functioning of your body, your mind, and the integration of the two. If you want to improve your level of awareness of one of these issues it is essential to develop activities that achieve that end. Could you develop training exercises for each of the following? Think about it!

For instance, one of my favorite balance exercises described in a previous post, is extremely simple. It just involves standing with your feet close to together, your eyes closed, and your mind observing as you seek a balance point. Easy in theory, but be careful (don’t fall over). This exercise can be modified by adding a heavy book. Just stand upright in a relaxed state holding the book. Then push the book out in front of you, and if your ankles are relaxed your body will sway backwards. If you resist this movement of the body to balance the movement of the book, through tension in your legs and core, your body will not sway back naturally.

Unflattering photos of author holding a heavy book. (A) relaxed, arms close to body; (B) relaxed, arms away from body; (C) arms away from body but resisting backward tilt. To do this side-to-side, put your feet together. I should make a video.

This is the beginning of an exploration of the effect of arm movement on body balance. See if you can work out an exercise for each item in the list above. The act of thinking about it will improve your self-awareness considerably.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.