I’m the most hated parent at Highland Dance. I asked another two motorists today to switch their engines off. They both did and were very good about it but I know how much people dislike being told what to do even if when it’s done politely. I had to do it though because the man I’d asked the other day was there again and this time had his engine off and he’d have been wondering why I picked on him and not the others so I really had no choice.
One of the motorists was quite surprised when I told her why. She gave me this look like I was telling her that cute fluffy puppies are on the rampage and killing small children while they sleep. I’m surprised so few people realise how harmful fumes from cars are to our health. In the UK, nearly 40,000 deaths per year can be attributed to air pollution. Turning your car engine off is an easy win as it requires little effort on the part of the car owner and will save them money at the same time.
While we were waiting for Elizabeth, Daniel and I went for a walk down Union Street and got a few things from Pret and the Co-op. When I got back I discovered my dress had become hitched up under my backpack and I was flashing my butt to the whole city.
There’s an interesting article in New Scientist about balance and how humans are losing this skill, the consquences of which are more accidents and even death. Apparently, falling over is the second biggest cause of accidental death behind car collisions.
The article explains that human balance is a tricky thing because we’re top-heavy, with a high centre of gravity, and a tiny base. We stop ourselves from falling over thanks to a complex network of communication between our brain, muscles, inner ear, and eyes.
Our ability to maintain our balance starts to decline from our 30s and 40s but the good news is there are things we can do. The first step is to test yourself. If you can’t stand on one leg with your eyes shut for at least 30 seconds then you need to start balance training asap. The article advises that pilates and yoga and other slow-moving exercises aren’t particularly helpful for balance training because they mostly rely on still postures. Similarly, sitting on a static bike or running on a treadmill is also not great for balance training and nor is swimming because gravity is an important part of the exercise. The best thing to do is to go cycling or running outside.
Road cycling and mountain biking involve balancing while looking around for cars or trees, looking straight ahead on a static bike doesn’t. Similarly, running outside involves dodging pedestrians and negotiating uneven ground.
I’m now off to stand on one leg with my eyes shut.