January 25th, 2022
According to a 2019 scientific review, about one-third of individuals aged 65 years and older fall each year. And about one in every five falls results in broken bones or head injuries, which can significantly reduce quality of life.
The good news? Exercise can reduce the risk of falls by 50% in those 70 years and older. At Nielsen Fitness, this is why we always emphasize the importance of fall prevention, including balance and stability exercises, especially with older clients.
Here are a few tips for reducing your own personal fall risk:
Fall Prevention Tips & Tricks
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say – which is why the best way to prevent a fall is to maintain the loss of your balance capabilities in the first place. If it’s too late for that, however, there are absolutely things you can do to preserve and improve what you have:
1. Make Balance Work Part of your Regular Regime
While general exercise is an excellent way to maintain health and independence, you’ll also want to incorporate balance training and stability exercises, such as standing on one leg at a time.
If you do get injured, it’s important to work on and regain your balance and stability asap so that you may make a full recovery.
2. Walk Lots
Falls can happen quickly, especially when we aren’t paying attention. By priming your brain for different terrain and circumstances, you can maintain good balance and stability.
For example, going for regular walks on different terrain, taking the stairs, or hiking uphill and downhill can challenge your stability muscles, as well as improve your coordination abilities.
3. Wear the Right Shoes
Nothing beats a good pair of shoes that provide the right support for you, most importantly a shoe that matches your foot type. For example, if you have flat feet, you’ll need a shoe with more support. Of course, make sure you purchase a pair of shoes that’s appropriate for the activities you perform, such as tennis or hiking. If you hike on icy and slippery surfaces, you may want to consider investing in a pair of spikes to get that extra grip and traction.
4. Plan Time for Exercise
You are never too busy to take care of yourself. Exercise has countless benefits when it comes to your health and wellness. Research even demonstrates how exercise can reduce the rate of falls by about 23% and in certain age groups, even more. Plan ahead and stick to your plan. If you’re having problems staying accountable, hire a qualified professional, such as a virtual personal trainer at Nielsen Fitness.
5. Avoid Sitting for Long Durations
Sitting in one spot for a long time can cause a variety of musculoskeletal issues. If you do sit a lot, be sure to incorporate regular movement (even if just around your house) and consider sitting on a Swiss ball for intervals throughout your day as a way to engage your core and improve your stability.
Seek Help From a Pro
A qualified professional can offer guidance regarding what stability exercises you should be performing to improve your proprioception and balance. They can also provide safety guidelines and supervision, ensuring you don’t fall while training.
Lastly, setting goals is always important! Make sure these goals are realistic and time-oriented. If you need help, the Nielsen Fitness team is here for you. From virtual personal training to at home personal trainers in Toronto, we can help. Get in touch with us today, and let’s get you back on track with your balance.