Phone booth cropped

Hello !!

I found it! For about the last ten or fifteen years, when teaching a lesson about moving the spine while sitting in a chair, I have asked students to imagine they are sitting in a teeny, tiny phone booth.

To my delight, on my recent California trip, I found one in the main library on the UC Berkeley campus! And believe me, it is indeed small, perhaps an inch of space behind one's back, in front of the knees and next to each shoulder. Just like I've asked students to imagine! To roll your pelvis forward and back, you really do have to individually move each vertebra to keep from bumping the wall of the phone booth.

What does this have to do with balance, our next class series topic? Plenty! If you can only use your spine like a stick and just tilt forward and back or tip side to side, you are less likely to have the flexibility and coordination to prevent a fall. And that could be life-changing -- not in the direction you want either!

Hope to see you in class next week!


"You Saved Me a Trip to the Emergency Room!"

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 3.46.19 PM

Click on image to listen to a short balance recovery practice

These words greeted me a month or so ago as I entered the Senior Center lobby. DeAnne Hanvey was the volunteer receptionist and went on to say that taking the balance class and practicing the fall prevention tips I taught kept her from falling on a hardwood floor when she tripped on a step.

Indeed, being able to take a "step" to catch yourself is key. Researchers at OSU's Biomechanics Lab have determined that "people can learn to respond to a loss of balance by taking a step, thus preventing a fall." (Terra, Winter 2015, p 37) As we age, our balance recovery reflexes work less well, possibly because in our largely flat environment, we don't use them as often. But, thanks to neuroplasticity, our brain and nervous system are amenable to learning via attentive practice.

That's one of the things we'll work on in all the upcoming classes: developing a fluid step-strategy. In the meantime, check out the short, 3-minute, audio practice, Stepping Around the Clock. Click on the image and find an open area to work on your balance. I know I've shred this before but we need to keep practicing to ensure that, like DeAnne, the skills are there when we need them.

Upgrade Your Balance - Classes Start Tuesday

Woman Balancing - racorn

Are you less steady on your feet?
Concerned about falling, especially in unfamiliar terrain?

Finding Balance

▪ Decrease risk of falls with improved flexibility and coordination
▪ Learn strategies to regain balance when needed
▪ Experience greater confidence and stability
▪ Add safe challenge to your balance routine.
Decrease risk of falls with improved flexibility and coordination
Learn strategies to regain balance when needed
Experience greater confidence and stability
Add safe challenge to your balance routine.

Chintimini Senior Center - 2601 NW Tyler Ave

Tuesdays July 18 - Aug 15 -- 10:30 - 11:30 am
$32 residents; $40 non-residents; $8 drop in if space

Friends Meeting House - 3311 NW Polk

Tuesdays July 18 - Aug 15 -- 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm
Register at first class please. $40 for series; $10 drop in
Bring mat or towel for carpeted floor.
Do not park in front of neighboring homes. Thanks!

Two Classes: Mindful Movement with Parkinson's


We still have room for a few more in the 1:15 pm Chair-based class! If you are beginning or returning to exercise after a setback or are not comfortable with getting down to the floor, this is the class for you Come check it out:

Thursdays 1:15 - 2:15 pm

And if you are comfortable with floor work (and the getting back up!) and are looking for variety in PD-focused exercise:

Thursdays 2:30 - 3:30 pm

BOTH CLASSES -- July 20 and 27, Aug 3, 10 and 17

Location: Fitness Over Fifty: 6735 SW Country Club Drive Corvallis
Cost: $10/class if signed up for the monthly series; Drop-in $12/class

New students--first class session free!

Please check with me first to confirm availability and the right class for you.

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What's the right class for you? Please contact me--details below

For More Information

Contact me: or 541-286-4678

or check out: My Website

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