Been awhile since you heard that?!  Or, maybe never?

One of Iron Footprint’s cornerstones is adding motor skill practice to your routine – as in dribbling a basketball, playing catch, kicking a soccer ball, striking a tennis ball.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Pause for it to sink in…    

I’ve left it alone until now, but we know each other well enough so it’s time.  I realize that some of you zero interest in this aspect of activity due to really lousy past experiences – remembering how the school gym smelled much less how you felt as the basketball ricocheted off your hands and rolled out through the door for the umpteenth time – not thinking you would ever have to re-live that misery.  But at least read through to the end until you kick the it to the curb, pun intended.  Like medicine, the gross aftertaste is tolerable if the good outweighs the gag.  And, hey, if it was really lousy it can only get better.         

So, here we go on WHY this is an important add to your routine: 

First, you are never too old to improve your skills.  Ageing’s toll on our joints may impact how far we kick or how hard we throw, but that doesn’t mean your proficiency can’t improve from what it is today – especially if you have never had or taken the opportunity to practice your skills.          

Second, improved skill proficiency can lead to engaging in more and different types of activities.  It increases the pool from which you can choose your daily activity and lends a new twist to FitBASE workouts.  Context-based activity (e.g., softball, basketball) hits a different motivation strand than gym-based activity.  The opportunity for competition and camaraderie, for example is appealing to many.  In fact, organized senior competitions are the fastest growing of any age group (see National Senior Games, Senior Softball, Masters Swimming, Track and Field, Weight lifting as examples).  You can gear your FitBASE workouts toward developing sport-specific strength to optimize your competitive results– bringing home ‘hardware isn’t just for the kids/grandkids!  

Third, motor skill practice stimulates your central nervous system differently than ‘gym’ activity.  The tracking required to catch or strike a ball or gauge a throw calls upon a different sensory response than walking/jogging or lifting weights.  Activating our brain in fresh ways can contribute to cognitive sharpness by triggering new channels of energy – sort of like lifting weights for your grey matter.           

Fourth, one essence of our physical activity self is our capacity to execute motor skills.  Yes, the sun will rise tomorrow even if you don’t work on your throwing, but why not take a few minutes during your exercise week to get to know this part of your activity self a little better

Fifth, you can practice with your kids/grandkids! (or practice even more for some of you).  Introduce them to golf as you are introduced, bring them to the batting cage when you go, or, play catch in the yard/on the sidewalk/in the hallway/at the park – whatever and wherever.  This will grow their KidPRINT as it grows your ‘Footprint. 

There you have it, five strong reasons to include motor skill practice into your routine.  For more information, we offer a whitepaper on the logistics of adding this to your routine.  Please email us at [email protected] for a copy.

If nothing else think about all the new kinds of shoes you get to buy besides hi-tops – softball cleats, court shoes, turf shoes, golf spikes,…