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Seated Balance and Coordination Exercises for Seniors

Begin seated in a chair that won’t move or slide easily. Start slowly, and only proceed to the next exercise once you’ve mastered or are comfortable with the previous one.

Throughout each exercise, be sure to focus on your breathing — you don’t want to hold your breath, as this may cause dizziness. Also remain aware of your core throughout each exercise. You want to gently pull your navel back toward your spine to engage your core muscles. Again, start at the beginning with the first exercise, and only proceed to the next one when you can comfortably perform the previous one. All of the following five exercises will be performed seated.

Toe Taps on Cone: Place the plastic cup, opening down, on the floor between your feet. Starting with your right leg, lift your leg up to gently tap the top of the cup with your toes, then place your foot on the opposite (left) side of the cup. Lift your right foot back over the cup, and set it down on the right side. Repeat 10 times with each leg, alternating sides.

Seated Leg Lifts: Lift your right leg with the knee bent at 90 degrees. Hold your leg up with your foot about 6 to 10 inches off the floor for five seconds. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs and do 10 repetitions on the other side.
Seated March: While seated, march your legs 20 times, lifting your feet at least a few inches off the floor. Be sure to focus on maintaining good posture while marching.

Hand-Eye Coordination and Balance: Place a plastic cup (opening facing down) in your right hand. Stretch your arm out in front of you while balancing the cup in your open hand.

Slowly move your arm out to the side and back to center. Repeat 10 times with each arm. When you’re comfortable with this exercise, you may try doing it with your eyes closed. Be sure to remain seated, and if necessary, have someone help keep you upright, and/or be ready to stabilize you if you get dizzy.

Seated Arm Reach: While seated, simultaneously lift your right arm up high and raise your left leg, knee bent. Hold for a few seconds, then alternate sides. Repeat for a total of 20 times.

If your child gets upset, acknowledge the feeling and ask her for suggestions. You might say, “I know you’re upset. I bet other kids are too. Let’s think about what will help you feel better.” Suggest reading a book together or starting an activity.

Ask the teacher for help. If your child won’t let you go, turn to the teacher. She probably has a lot of experience with this. You might say, “Let’s go say hello to your teacher together. She will take great care of you.”

Make a swift exit. Take your cue from the teacher and from your child, but when it’s time to go, go. A quick exit may be more useful to your child than a drawn-out goodbye. You can often call school later to check on how a young child is doing. And you’ll probably find out that she’s doing fine.

Copyright © 2003-15 The Bullock Gazette
Last modified:  01/14/2015
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