The Functional Reserve: Part II

As noted, August is my functional reserve month. Take time this month to give yourself an extra dose in fitness of all forms. In Part I of this concept, I wrote about cognition, with 4 aspects expressed in more easily understandable language, being: hold, recall, process, and generate. Be mindful of the subtle message that when things are too complicated or novel, that sometimes they are not adopted based on the sheer human nature of convenience, or friction, the opposite of nudge.

In Part II, I am focusing on balance. I am now regularly attempting to stand on one leg at a time (single leg stance/SLS) with my eyes closed (EC) while brushing my teeth. My electric toothbrush operates for 2 minutes. I choose to run two-cycles of this in the evening. So, for 4 minutes, I alternate feet in SLS with EC. Nevermind, for now, that this is a dual task.

I am working on SLS with EC to create a functional reserve. I am well-aware of the motor learning principles about SLS, noting that this is a static and not a dynamic balance task. I have appropriately suppressed my expectations that this will measurably impact my running form or proficiency, thank you. However, I am also well aware of the inherent behavioral economics (BE) and psychological attributes that this combination offers. What else could I be doing while I am brushing my teeth? It is hard to listen to my wife with the electric toothbrush going; challenging and unproductive to take my contacts out while doing so (yes I have tried and am capable); and difficult to get too far away from the bathroom sink. We know from BE that this provides a level of convenience, affords an opportunity, and nudges me toward continuing to create a functional reserve in balance.

Up next: Part III – Endurance