Do you remember the simple song, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes?” Keep reading and find out how this sweet song can keep you or your loved one upright and vertical!
Have you noticed how people start getting a rounded back as they age? Back pain increases. Energy subdues. Falls increase. Look around and notice how many shoulders are beginning to round and beautiful heads are jutting forward.
Whether we are worried about tripping on something or we are simply unaware of our posture as we sit, stand, and walk, posture awareness matters. Posture position effects your balance, your energy, your back, and ultimately can represent your confidence. Keeping your back aligned is very important for general back strength and health but it also important for keeping the “spine highway” open and in good working order allowing your nervous system to work properly.
STAY VERTICAL: Use this simple song from your past keeping you straight and tall at last. ☺
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes (2x)
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose,
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.
1) Keep your HEAD on your shoulders (not jutted forward)
2) Roll your SHOULDERS back and let your elbows stay close to your hips
3) Soften your KNEES and walk with a wider gait (as wide as your shoulders or hips
especially if you are feeling unsteady)
4) Lift your foot off the ground landing heel to TOE
5) Wear your EYE glasses or sunglasses and keep looking out as much as possible not down
(walking or trekking poles are a nice supplement too with your doctor’s approval)
6) Keep your EARS aligned with your shoulders (not jutted forward)
7) Take deep breaths in your MOUTH and drink water especially if you feel unsteady
8) Your NOSE is beautiful! Your whole person is beautiful! ☺ Keep walking just slow down.
STAY SAFE: If you do take a tumble, think THREE and let it BE. In other words, go ahead and fall. Try not to stop your fall. We all have fallen before and we will ultimately fall again. So understand that if you can relax and roll with it, you will have less injuries. If you stiffen up and reach out, you will most likely really hurt yourself. Practice tumbling onto your bed.
1) Relax and crumble down to the floor
2) Protect your face and head
3) Roll when possible
STAY STRONG: Now you are saying, “Ok, I’m on the floor now. How do I get up?” There are a few ways to do this. First, you need to be strong enough to get up. So keep going to those exercise classes in your community. We want to keep your triceps (back of the arms), legs, and ankles strong in addition to keeping your body flexible (think big range of motion movements for all your moving parts).
From a supine (face up) or prone (face down) position, you will need to position yourself and use your arm to angle your upper body up. Those beautiful back upper arm muscles that we LOVE to show off, you need them right now. So tricep exercises are a must in your daily workout routine to position your body to an upright, sitting position.
Next, position yourself so that you are on your hands and knees and choose one of the three options to get up:
1) INCH WORM UP: Keep your feet as wide as your hips. Pop up your tail bone up and move your feet closer to your hands with your feet hip-width apart. Then slowly walk your hands up your legs until you are upright. (This reminds me of an inchworm going from a bent position to a lengthen position). Many folks like this choice if their knees are not the best.
2) KNEE UP: Bring one knee up and leave one knee on the floor. Place your hands on your higher knee and use it as leverage by leaning onto it to bring your body to a standing position. Be sure your feet are apart so that you have a nice wide base of support.
3) TO THE CHAIR: Crawl to a chair on your hands and knees and use the chair seat for support making sure that your feet are still spaced apart a bit. Lift a knee and place your hands on the chair seat and lean into the chair as you lift your other knee up and stand. Stay strong! Go to the floor (not from a fall!) and get up again several times a day EVERY DAY. This needs to be a daily part of your exercise routine. You can do it! Keep going!