Mel Collie | An easy way to stop being clumsy
I used to be so clumsy, always had bruises on my legs from bumping into things it became so common that it was unusual if I didn’t have any bruises, so in a sense, I got used to it, does that ring a bell with you? You got used to something so much you didn’t think about changing it?
I discovered my clumsy antidote by accident on a course for corrective exercise using your brain rather than stretching muscles.
One of those tests that worked for me, I now do in my posture assessments, and it is for Spatial Awareness. What is spatial awareness and how does it affect your balance?
A healthy spatial awareness allows us to understand our location, our surroundings, in relation to our bodies. This can be affected when we have a shock or an accident or trauma, affecting our ability to judge distances, for example, when we cross the road , we may not be sure how far away an approaching vehicle is, so we hesitate on the curb, not sure if we should cross or wait.
Poor spatial awareness can appear as being clumsy, bumping into things, standing too close to objects or people , than usual. You may also find it tricky to catch a ball, affecting sports, which may mean you’ve hated exercise since school because you have felt useless , less than able, find it tricky to differentiate from the words over, under, left and right.
Try this simple thing to help your spatial awareness improve: Grab a ball like a tennis ball, and throw and catch it with one hand, 5 times, then the other hand, 5 times, then from hand to hand, start low, increasing the height of the throw as you get more confident. Then throw it against a wall. Try it with one hand, then with the other. Then move from side to side to side as you throw the ball at different parts of the wall, making it a little bit more challenging.
Try this a few times a week, but watch your breathing, try not to hold your breath as this can affect your results , in some people, in a very noticeable way, as inhibiting your oxygen tells your brain it is under threat, and all its interested in is keeping you alive, so reduced oxygen levels will slow you down and reduce your performance.
You can assess your nervous system response by doing a test before and after, like bending forward to touch the floor or a simple rotation movement, see how far you can go, and if your range increases or decreases after the tennis ball activity. ( if it has decreased, take a minute to relax and do some deep slow belly breathing , then retest your forward bend)
Make sense doesnt it, we just havent thought of it this way before.