PT Corner: New Walkers – Tackling New Terrain With Yoga Mats
[Source: Starfish Therapies]
When a child first starts to walk, they are often in high guard (their arms up high), they are rigid through their trunk (no rotation or arm swing), and they have a wider base of support with a shorter step length. They are using all their muscles to keep their balance with each step they take. As they get more practice, their arms will start to come down, they will bring their feet closer together, and begin to take longer steps.
But, learning to walk on flat ground is just the first step. Unless they are in a very controlled environment, there aren’t going to be too many times in their life when they are walking on perfectly flat ground without any obstacles or changes in terrain. So, how do we help them to prepare for that? If you just start putting a lot of obstacles in front of them, it may be too much for them to handle. There are ways to grade this experience for them so they begin to do it naturally. It’s all about setting up the environment so they can practice!
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