5 Tips to Prevent Falls

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Consider These Statistics

One in three adults over the age of 65 will fall at least once a year.

More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling.

A fractured hip is life changing with the majority never returning to former levels of independence and physical activity. 

Falls are the leading cause of injury and injury-related deaths in adults over 65 years.

Twenty percent of persons 75 years or older require medical treatment due to falls.

One in three adults over the age of 50 dies within 12 months of suffering a hip fracture. 50% of those hospitalized from a fall will die within one year of the fall due to secondary complications. 

Older adults have a 5 to 8 times higher risk of dying within the first three months of a hip fracture.

Falls and impaired mobility are a serious problem for our older adults. The good news is that much of the decline in balance and associated risk of falling can be reversed through a structured program. One study found that healthy people as old as 90 years can reduce the tendency to fall by 50 per cent through balance training.

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Here’s the top 5 things you can start doing immediately to reduce your risk of falling:

1 – Balance Everyday

It’s critical than you challenge your balance system every day. A simple behavior to incorporate is to stand on one leg for 1 minute while brushing your teeth. Then switch and balance on the other leg for 1 minute. You’ll make your dentist happy and get 2 minutes of balance training every day.

2 – Lower Body Strength

Falls are associated with lower body weakness so it’s important to preserve the muscle mass in your legs. Exercises like lunges, steps up and squats are important to incorporate into your routine. When beginning, minimize the depth of your movements and as you get stronger, you can go deeper. 

3 – 1 Leg Training

Any upper body exercise you perform on two legs, try to do it on one leg to incorporate more balance into your routine.

4 – Balance Tools

There is equipment available that can effectively challenge your balance and strength. Tools like BOSU Trainers, wobble boards, stability balls, balance discs and even walking on a 2 x 4 can help to improve your balance skills.

5 – Eyes Closed

Stand for one minute with your eyes closed while maintaining good posture, alignment, and stability. For a more advanced challenge, try balancing on one leg with eyes closed.

Bob Hoffman, local Personal Trainer, aged 63, is conducting a Free Balance Training workshop on Saturday February 25th to provide our community with additional balance conditioning tips that you can incorporate immediately. Please share with any friends and relatives who could benefit. Reading the stats above, you may change, and even save, their life! Call 360.574.7292 to get on the list. 

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan


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