Put simply: If you don’t have stability, you’re more likely to fall and get injured. Surprisingly, one in every four adults over age 65 experiences a fall each year. Even more surprisingly, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in those 65 and older.

So, what can we do about this? What fall prevention tips should you know so you can experience a high quality of life at any age?

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Personal training with Nielsen Fitness means building a stronger and more balanced you.

The Ins and Outs of Fall Prevention

At the end of the day, you need an exercise plan that includes stability and balance. Stability and balance, unfortunately, decline with age. This decline can be accelerated by a lack of practice or use. 

In fact, research shows how the ability to sit and rise from the floor is a significant predictor of mortality in those 51 to 80 years old. And this requires the three pillars; stability, balance, and coordination, which are something we get all of our Nielsen Fitness clients to work on first—no matter whether they are young or old, or an athlete or a couch potato.

So, how can you do this too? Try these exercises! (And no, they aren’t just exercises for older adults. Anyone can improve their stability and balance by using these.)

All Nielsen Fitness clients are assisted with their stability, balance and coordination.

1. March on the spot with your eyes closed

We do these with many of our clients. Basically, it’s exactly as the name implies; You march on the spot with your eyes closed. It’s a good idea to either do this supervised or with a support, such as a wall, nearby. This exercise helps enhance kinetic awareness, meaning it helps train your brain as to where your body is in space.

2. Leg swings

This involves standing tall with your body upright and swinging one leg at a time. If this is difficult, we recommend starting by simply moving your foot along the floor before progressing to having your foot swing off the ground.

The founder of Nielsen Fitness, Poul Nielsen, demonstrates how to do dynamic alternating leg swings.

3. Hip wall press

Unfortunately, many people neglect their glute strength. Yet, this is a critical piece for good balance and fall prevention. So, how do you do this one?

Stand perpendicular to a wall. Bring your hip up to 90 degrees with your knee bent, then push as hard as you can against the wall for five seconds. Make sure to do both sides!

4. Single-leg pivots

This is another one that is exactly as the name implies. Stand tall and pivot your body using just one leg. If needed, start with a shorter range of motion and work your way up.

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Single leg pivot with a kettlebell with the guidance of a Nielsen Fitness personal trainer.

5. Bird dogs

Bird dogs are an excellent movement for gaining core strength and stability. Begin on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Slowly extend one arm forward and the opposite leg back. Pause, then return to the middle. Again, make sure to alternate sides here!

Here’s a video demonstration of a bird dog being done on a BOSU ball. 

6. Balancing on a swiss or BOSU ball

Sitting on a swiss ball, you can practice lifting one foot or one arm at a time or even the opposite foot and arm together. You could also practice standing on a BOSU ball. When you do this, ensure you have a stable object nearby to grab if you need it. 

Alternatively, you could also practice standing on or squatting on a foam roller. For these exercises, it’s best to have someone supervising you.

Regularly balancing on a Swiss or BOSU ball can do wonders for your stability.

7. Swiss ball smash

You will need your trainer or another person for this one! All it involves is you holding the ball, and the other person (or your trainer) taps it to challenge your balance capabilities.

What Else Can You Do?

Other things you may want to consider trying include walking up and downstairs, as well as practicing doing this backward. 

Not sure exactly how to do the above? Or would you rather have a pro supervising you? For more tips and a customized and effective balance plan, contact our personal trainers in Toronto today!