Posted on Oct 29, 2014
Exercise plays a major role in preventing falls. When we see older adults shuffling instead of walking, they are actually compensating for lack of balance and poor posture. These seniors take shorter strides, have a wider gait and tend to look at the floor to try to avoid tripping.
Improving posture and balance helps strengthen weak muscle groups in the back, core, hips and legs. This improves mobility, which limits the fall risks. Working on posture, such as sitting up straight in a chair and holding abs in can strengthen key muscles groups helping to create a more normal walking gait. Improving static balance, which is the ability to control postural sway while standing, is key to preventing falls.
Some of the exercises to stimulate better brain and muscle control are marching in place, heel walks, working on ankle flexibility and quick steps with sudden stops to help increase reaction times. Along with wrist and ankle weights to help build muscle, many seniors are drawn to aquatic classes because of arthritis or lack of flexibility. However, it is important for seniors to perform exercises on land to increase bone density, help improve balance and simulate the functional movements we perform each day during our daily tasks.
Exercising is not only good for the body it stimulates the mind, improves hand and eye coordination and is an excellent social outlet. Before starting any exercise program, meet with your doctor and discuss your goals.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT FALLS