Balance: what’s normal?

Miz, I am a new reader and, while I really enjoy your rhymes, I can’t help but wonder: is there a story here? Am I missing something?

This email made me laugh as, not only do I receive many like this (people seemingly perplexed by my penchant for rhyming/thinking that they MUST be missing an inside joke), the answer really is just a plain ole NO.

No story.

No missing anything.

Im just a MizFit who likes to rhyme.

Dear MizFit,

You did a video with the BOSU ball where you fell off (thanks for that it made me feel way better about my own lack of balance). That made me start wondering how I know if I have bad balance for my age? or if Im fine? Thanks MizFit!

First, Im so glad that I could make you feel better about yourself.

Here’s the video if you’ve got that I wanna to feel superior feeling & previously missed it:


Oh that I could claim I pretended to fall off the BOSU only to make you all feel less badly about any possible lack of balance.

Sadly, that video is still kindasorta indicative of my current state. (Im working diligently to change it, but that’s a Renaissance Man Hath Proclaimed Himself My BOSU-trainer post for a different day.)

To answer your question, emailer, there is a simple test you can do to see where you fall within the norms of balance for your age.

It’s easy, fast, and a diagnostic test which Ive thus far avoided taking for very obvious reasons.

Stand next to a piece of furniture upon which you can steady yourself should you need to.

Fold your arms across your chest, raise one leg and bend it at the knee approximately forty five degrees.

Check the second hand on your watch and close your eyes.

How long can you hold this position without uncrossing your arms, tilting sideways, moving your standing leg or touching the bent leg to the floor?

Repeat this test on your other side and compare your results with the norms:

*twenty-forty nine years: 24-28 seconds

*fifty-fifty nine years: 21 seconds

*sixty-sixty nine years: 10 seconds

*seventy – seventy nine years: 4 seconds

*eighty plus years: typically cannot complete test.

How did you do?

Are you verging on Cirque Du Soleil? Or are you more MizFit-esque in your balancing skillz?

In all seriousness, there’s a reason Ive skipped taking the test:

Im painfully aware that Im in need of improvement regardless of where I fall (pun intended).

In addition, there’s nothing like that last group in the norms to make me wannabe the exception & the Seuss tattooed crazy 80 year old who can finish the test with ease.

I know I have my work cut out for me—-but I also have forty years left in which to get there (*cue uplifting musical interlude*).

If you decide to take the test at home feel free to hit us all up in the comments & share how you did.

You never know, perhaps I’ll be guilted into joining you.


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  1. says

    I do a similar “test” on the wii fit. I have failed everytime, but am getting better. I am working on strengthening my core, which will eventually help with my balance. :)

    I now will try YOUR “test” sometime today and report back.

  2. says

    Funny! We’re doing some balancing work as part of our wind-down in aqua aerobics and I used to be really bad, but am getting better now… Everything takes practice!

  3. Bea says

    I am in for the test thing morning after I wake up (I love ya Miz but not enough for a faceplant!).

    LOL at the question about the rhyming.

  4. says

    No way in heck I’m taking it… I know when I try to work on my balance, closing my eyes seems to totally mess me up. I topple over almost instantly, like someone just swung a wrecking ball at me.

    Like you, I think I’ll work on it a little more before I test myself and get discouraged. But it’s good to know where to go when I’m ready–will bookmark this page!

  5. says

    My son wondered why in the heck I was standing on one leg with my eyes closed… That IS a fun challenge. It was hard to count with him cracking jokes!

    Sorry anonymous reader, but the rhymes are not a joke. They are an insidious plot to jolly us into her evil workout scheme in which your brain turns to mush and you think “fitness…gooooooooooooood”
    (sorry Miz, sticky keys this month…)

  6. Marisol says

    I love how you are not embarrassed that you arent great at everything.

    I need more of that in my world. I tend to grow too embarrassed too easily.

  7. says

    I’m thinking I’ll take the ostrich approach on this one and just skip knowing the results. :) I will say that *trying* to improve balance is loads of fun and the endorphins from all the laughing are bound to be good for a person.

  8. says

    I perform that a similar balance test each night upon my head hitting the pillow. And I balance just fine. Why use a BOSU when you can use the mattress?

    Miz, was that the tornado I heard screaming in the background of the video?

    (BTW, 4 am here. Did not balance well the entire night)

  9. says

    I can’t wait to try that balance test…just need to find a watch with a second-hand. Thanks for the comment on my blog. Surprisingly, I’m not that tired this morning. I even got up earlier than I normally do. I think my body just wasn’t in the mood for sleep (although I bet I’ll be exhausted by noon).

  10. Karen says

    Balance is something I focus on all the time with my trainer.

    I’m apprehensive about taking the test because I fear if I’m below where I should be I will quit.

    I’ll leave that to others(the taking not the quitting ;))

  11. says

    Oooh – I am so trying the balance test when I get home! I have a feeling I’ll be a’ight – till it comes to the closing my eyes part. :-)

    Thank you so much for suggesting protein! That makes complete sense. Actually, I got to thinking and I’m definitely going to be eating lots of raw almonds – love! I also might need to look into some protein powder. FINALLY. Maybe I’ll check out GNC?

  12. says

    I knew these big feet had to be good for something! Apparently, they keep me balanced, for this test at least. I’m right there with my age. Woo hoo!

  13. says

    I would try the balance test right now, but I fear that coworkers would choose that exact moment to barge into my office. Then I’d have to explain that instead of working, I’m reading MizFit and testing my balance – then they would resent me for not working, they’d tell my boss, I’d get fired, lose my home and then I’d have to come live on your front lawn. So to save you the trouble of having to call the police to remove some crazy woman off your lawn, I’ll just wait until I get home to do this test, k? 😉

  14. says

    I have a lousy sense of balance and always have. I fell over just thinking about this test.
    In my case Gingko biloba has done wonders for said balance. I can’t have any right now due to taking anticoagulents, but the moment I can, I will. Then I’ll try this test.

  15. Monique says

    We do balancing poses in yoga and it would be an interesting (additional) test for your readers to try this on both legs. Usually we are stronger on 1 side and will be able to hold the pose longer and better on 1 side than the other.

  16. says

    55 Seconds.

    But then I actively work on my balance every day, in addition to have 2 years of yoga to help me out.

  17. says

    Oh, this is hilarious. I have great balance. Even now, I can stand on my tip-toes, pull one leg off the ground and extend it. On a good day I can even swing it around. All balanced on the tip-toes of the other foot.

    But I CANNOT AND NEVER HAVE BEEN able to pass that test above. The minute I close my eyes, I fall straight to the floor. And the REALLY weird thing is that I don’t realize I’m falling until it’s too late to DO anything about it (except face- or butt-plant on the floor). (And as far as anyone can tell, it’s not an inner-ear thing, either. No rhyme or reason for it!)

    (Also, Miz: I did not go to the gym today, but I did walk around the block a bunch of times in the early morning, with the birds singing. Def. less stressed out now. ;))

  18. says

    Try having a new center of balance and then tell me about the test…lol. Hmmm you say? Storytime: 8 years ago I had a breast reduction (from a 38G to a D cup) For years I had done dance training and they were always correcting my posture due to my compensation for my very large chest (honestly I felt like the Hippo from Fantasia). Now that the chest has been “nipped in the bud”, I have a whole new fun game of learning to adjust in the balancing world…and believe me, I haven’t mastered it yet after 8 years, but I love a challenge, and my back loves the fact that I got a reduction! (not to mention I have the breasts of a 19 year old Girls Gone Wild participant) Best breast man in Austin is to thank for that….I love Austin! Anywho, I haven’t tried that test and can’t wait to test my progress…thanks for the share.

  19. says

    I have really good balance, I accredit kickboxing fully :) I held it for about 60 on each side.

    By the by…the book was Scarlet Pimpernel (meh)…next month we are reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (loved it!!!)

  20. says

    that’s hard! close your eyes and the game is over! I’ll have to try it when I’m not at work and distracted! And thanks for the comments over at my blog.. much appreciated! I’m heading away to a summer camp from June 1 – august 15th and will not be able to do my body pump that I have grown to love! Can you suggest and at home full body weight training program dvd?

  21. says

    Thank you, yoga! I tried this a couple ways, including the tree pose.

    Looks like I’m on the right track to being the only chick at the nursing home who can stand on one foot!

  22. says

    I have days where I fall around like that and I am not even on a bosu ball LOL!

    I have found yoga helps with balance. I started doing little bits of yoga from (gentle hatha) and have found certain poses like the tree pose has really been helping my balance a lot.

  23. says

    Loved your attempt at a dismount like a gymnist. I’ll skip the balance test, I’m too big of a cluts, I know the outcome, not pretty. I think I’ll just stick to less moving objects.

  24. says

    Maybe I’m just a weirdo, but I can balance on one foot with my eyes closed for a long time (thanks, yoga! I practice closing my eyes in tree pose all the time), BUT

    stick me on a Bosu or a balance trainer or unstable surface and I can’t balance on both feet. Not for a second.

  25. says

    I take the test and know: when it comes to balance, I am a centurian. sigh. However, if you could get in my head and distract me, I could do it a bit longer.

    A major part of my problem is that after you sprain an ankle, you can mess up your proprioceptors. Me? 9 ankle sprains. There are are re-training techniques and I’m using them.

    Maybe by the time I’m 60 my balance will = my age?

  26. says

    Wow, I think I’d need a crash pad before I tried this. I already have enough trouble balancing on one leg with my arms free and my eyes open. But I am committed to doing more yoga, and I know that helps with balance tremendously.

  27. Alyssa says

    I laughed at the first emailer and wondered if she thought she was missing some kind of secret rhyming code :)

    Love your rhymes and your posts.

    Thanks for all you do, Miz.

  28. says

    At Christmas I did that stupid Wii balance test at my inlaws…it said I was 65 years old. I said it was because I was nervous because they were all staring at me.

    I just tried your test. Standing on my left foot, 30 seconds no problem. Tried it on my right thinking it would be even better…can’t get past 10 seconds.

    So does that mean my left side is 20-29 years old and my right side is 60-69 years old?!

  29. MizFit says

    One leg is in its forties and the other seems to belong to a 60 year old woman!

    laughed out loud at that Fat[free]Me!

  30. says

    I love the Bosu ball. It’s a challenge for me, but I love it. I’ll do the balance test at home when no one else is around except my dogs. It *IS* nice to see that Mizfit is not perfect. I still can’t get the video out of my head of RenMan doing the plank, jump, clap, thingy. Amazing.

  31. says

    I started yoga a while back (love) and did more than one dignified faceplant during the balancing poses. Now, only about 4 months later, I can do them! …the poses, without the faceplants

  32. says

    OMG! I know all about this! I work on my balance because I know I need to but that test just gets me! One more thing I have to accomplish. At least I got the clap push-up!

    I have very wide, flat &bunioned feet & my overpronation as I have aged is just getting worse & worse so balance is tough for me. I feel the overpronation in all my leg work for sure & that is why I do use the Bosu & TRY to do balance work… to no avail a lot of times! Another thing we have in common, MizFit! BUT, I will continue to try!

    PS: On the PB2, I replied to you on my blog…

  33. says

    I have the balance of a 60 year old! Which is too bad, because I’m 32. (Also, it did not matter if I was wearing my heels or not – I did the test shod, first, and then thought, “I’m sure I’ll do better barefoot. Not so much. Actually worse on one foot.)

    So maybe I need to get a bosu ball & work on balance a bit. Dammit!

  34. says

    I really have to work on my balance… My right ankle has been injured way to many times. And it makes me VERY old! (Balancing on my left food isn’t that great either…) But, I’ll work on it! :)

  35. Miz says

    sal I did see that! So you believe it? There seems to be such mixed stuff/research out there as of late…
    Its hard to know what to believe.

    Tho regardless my balance sucketh 😉

  36. Heather in MO says

    Apparently, my balance is quite good (and I do both stable-and-unstable surface balancing).

    Sadly, my flexibility is not what it once-upon-a-regular-yoga-session-time was. Sigh.

  37. says

    Wow, it kinda scares me how quickly we lose our balance with age.

    Sorry your run made you sore. :) Now you know how I feel when I lift weights.

  38. says

    Ahhh, Bollywood & Pilates Woman have me killing that one.

    My balance is not always great though. It took lots of practice and then I have to do a warm up to nail it. LOL

  39. says

    since i finally started doing PT for my IT band my balance has greatly improved…prior to that I was afraid to ride a bike cause heck I fall over walking!

  40. suganthi says

    We are not even allowed to tilt sideways?!
    Oh my , then I fail miserably. No way.. I changed the rules.. we are allowed to tilt …. then I am A+++.

  41. says

    Last time I did this I was 70-79. Today I’m 20-40. Hmm maybe there’s something in this exercise thing after all……

  42. says

    i love this! i know my trainer had me and my son passing a medicine ball to each other, catch and SQUAT on the bosu ball, and i was thinking, dude, you are CRAZY!! lmao we finally had to give it up after giggling WAY too much.