THE #1 SECRET TO STAYING STRONG …
I have a friend who used to coach basketball. I’ve often heard him say that you can tell a lot about a person’s athletic ability by the way they walk…..
I grew up ( and am STILL doing so….), like so many of my friends, in fear of turning into the old people on the block who can barely get down the driveway to pick up the paper. I was fortunate to grow up with parents that were very active and encouraged us to eat well and get involved in every sport known to man. We didn’t have to be great but, we did have to learn it. I also worried that my “lifelong” commitment to working out, playing sports, eating well and staying healthy would wane as I got older. Still addicted to that gym workout, skiing, tennis, golf and running after Missy K. My 86 year old mother still has this wild walking competition with her friends. They are completely addicted to logging every.single.step. So, I have big shoes to fill here….
That thought came back to me while traveling. It seemed like all the older (like I’m 20…right?) people pushing bags had a similar side-to-side movement in their hips and shoulders when they walked. As they stepped forward with the right leg, they would lean to the left. On the next step, they’d lean to the right as they moved the left leg. It looked slow and tedius and, in some cases, painful.
The Good Doctor shared that this walking pattern is so common it has a name: Trendelenburg gait. It’s often seen in older adults who need or have recently undergone a hip replacement, which makes total sense since the main feature is an inability to hold the hips level when walking. Luckily, there are some super easy exercises you can do to prevent this gait from happening to you.
Be aware that an altered walking pattern can have lots of potential causes. In a long-running study of elderly Italians, about one-third of those between 60 and 97 had gait disorders. And many were related to neurological issues like Parkinson’s and dementia.
HOW IS YOUR STRUT? TAKE THIS TEST AND FIND OUT.
Ok, let’s see where you are with the test used to check for Trendelenburg. You’ll need a stopwatch or use your iPhone or Android stopwatch or timer that shows seconds. Stand in front of a mirror with your hands on your hips. Lift your right foot off the floor, and hold that position as long as you can. Stop if your pelvis drops or you lose your balance. Repeat with your left foot off the floor.
You should be able to hold steady for at least 30 seconds per side. 30 seconds is sort of the “standard” time for this test. If you can’t, you may have—or might be headed for—Trendelenburg.
As always…be safe…no showing off. Be sure to follow up with your medical provider if you think you might be heading toward Trendelenburg gait.
HOW DID YOU DO? DID YOU TIP OR HAVE PAIN? DID YOU ROCK IT? Video please 🙂
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As always, safety is key. Keep aging backwards,