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March 7, 2011. Here’s a real deal. A complete home gym that fits in three square feet. Costs fifty bucks. Press Play and watch the video to see it in action.

Works for all the exercises I think are important. The ones that improve your balance, your muscle and bone strength, your aerobic endurance. Really an all-in-one small product.

I got it because I liked the design of the “balance board” part of the deal. Quickly and easily adjustable between two modes: easy and not-so-easy. Very lightweight. You can lean it up against the wall on one end; takes up less than one square foot. Or stick it in a closet.

Lately, though, I began to appreciate the other things you can do with this. You can pop some legs onto the balance board and it becomes a “step deck”. You know, for “step aerobics”. Back to the nineties. Or was it the eighties? Or seventies? But, you know, if you don’t have a treadmill at home, this a Better Cheaper Way to walk or jog in your living room. Actual aerobic exercise. You get your heart rate up. You breathe hard. You sweat. You burn calories. I’ll show you how. Next Monday.

But wait! There’s more! This thing comes with resistance tubes. Like I use for Strength Exercises. But these clip onto the Step Deck/Balance Board. So you can can improve your balance and strength at the same time. But takes some practice. This is harder than chewing gum and walking at the same time. Do it carefully.

You should check this out. It’s really the exercise version of a Time & Space Machine. Lets you squeeze a lot of exercise into a little time and a small space. You buy it at for $50.

Press Play for a simple balance exercise:

Standing on two feet
Standing on one leg
Knee Lifts on the Balance Board

Cost-Benefit analysis
Old folks like me (should) fear falling because, get this: of the 300,000 men and women over 65 who fracture a hip this year, 20% will die within a year. And 50% won’t regain their mobility; they’ll move to nursing homes. Journal of the American Medical Association.

You, like everybody, could slip, trip or otherwise sprain an ankle or end up on your butt later today. And off your feet for six to eight weeks. Not to mention the pain. So take a few seconds to consider …

Balance Training
Three minutes a day will do the trick; five or ten minutes is better. You’re too busy? C’mon, wake up and stand on your balance board for the first three minutes you’re checking your e-mail. Really, you can do that. Personally, I’m not big on that kind of multi-tasking. But it beats a sprained ankle.

You can buy a balance board for twenty dollars. That’s less than the co-pay in the emergency room. Or you can spend fifty bucks on Today’s Way of the Day and add some strength to your balance.

Every Thing Is Everything
When you strengthen muscles, you also strengthen your bones. Weight-bearing exercise – like standing, walking and jogging – contributes mightily to bone density and strength as well as to muscle mass and strength. If your bone density’s on the way down – and this begins after age 35 if you don’t counter it with exercise and diet – you’re on the way to osteopenia and its severe form, osteoporosis. If you get there, you’re at a significantly higher risk for hip, spine, wrist and rib fractures when you lose your balance and go down.

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