Muscle of Balance with Tami Peavy PT: 2BB 044

07.27.2015 - By 2 Boomer Broads Podcast

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Broadcasting from picturesque Fallbrook Falls.
The Broads interview Tami Peavy from www.practicaltherapy4u.com, who is a renowned physical therapist. She helps people over 50 avoid falls.

Both Broads reveal that they’ve fallen in the past.
According to Tami, Boomers who are 60 have a 1 in 3 chance of falling each year with half of those falls ending up in the hospital. Every 30 minutes someone actually dies from a fall in the U.S.
Even people who are fairly active may still fall, so it’s important to learn how to avoid falling.
What is the reason so many people are falling?
Even though many of us in the Baby Boomer generation have gym memberships and grew up on Jane Fonda workouts, most of those programs don’t focus on the main muscle group that will prevent falls and correct the poor posture habits that we’ve developed over the years.
We also sit too much behind a desk, in cars, and on the sofa.
Your balance and independence is dependent on the strength of your “muscle of balance.”  That muscle is your gluteus Maximus. (Your butt) You are sitting on the very thing that keeps you independent in life. Virtually everything you do requires strength in your butt muscles.
We’re often told to work on squats to strengthen our butts but Tami doesn’t believe squats are appropriate for anyone over 30. They take a toll on your knees and back and weaken the very muscle that you need to keep from falling.
Extensions that take your arms and legs behind your body are much more effective exercises.
Tami’s DVD’s, available on her website, take you through the proper exercises one day at a time.
Balance and other Cool Tips
Focus on walking with your feet under your hips as you move through your day to avoid the risk of fracture from falls. (Don’t keep your legs close together like we were taught in charm school – think more of walking like a cowboy)
Many falls happen when people get off of the toilet because their legs are too close together. When you get out of a chair, or the car, keep your legs slightly apart to give yourself a stronger base.
Crossing your legs all the time is a bad practice. It keeps your legs together and weakens your base of support.
Standing and texting can be dangerous because your chin is down, your head is forward, and it can throw you off balance.
If you work on a computer all the time, adjust the screen so that the bottom of the screen is in line with your chin when it’s held level.  Your head is heavy and if you let it drop down, you’re carrying a lot of weight that puts pressure on your neck.
If you experience back problems sitting in a desk chair, ditch the chair and sit on a therapy ball instead. It forces you to move your body and is much healthier for you than a chair.
90 % of brain stimulation comes from spinal movement.
How can you prevent falls?
Do extensions to strengthen your muscle of balance. This can also be accomplished by lying on your stomach.
Most gyms don’t provide equipment that will strengthen your butt muscles. The majority of gym equipment is built with the boot camp mentality in mind and doesn’t focus so much on balance.
Doing “Core” exercises are good but it will not prevent you from falling.
Stand in a doorway with your hands on both sides of the door. Then, do every movement with your legs behind you, pointed, without lifting your foot off the ground. If you lift your foot off the ground you will engage your lower back muscles.
Babies learn to walk by falling forward. At the end of our lives, with weaknesses developed over time, we start walking that way. Instead we need to concentrate on staying erect.
Tami works mostly with those who are Baby Boomers and older. Some are in their 90’s.  She has a few patients in their 80’s who are active, and still play tennis,

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