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Balance and Strength Exercises to Help Prevent Falls

When you are young, slipping and falling on the ground is relatively harmless. However, as we grow older, falls start to have more severe and frequent consequences. Every year, over 25% of adults aged 65 and older experience a fall, and approximately three million are treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. Because of this, it is important to know what puts one at risk for falling, exercises to prevent them, and additional steps one can take to stop falls.

Some fall risks include: 

  • Balance or walking problems 
  • Medications: when individuals take five or more medications, they are at increased risk of falling 
  • Home hazards (dim lighting, narrow pathways, etc.)
  • Positional low blood pressure 
  • Feet issues and improper footwear 

Despite risks, there are exercises that one can do to prevent such falls. 

Sit-to-Stand Exercise: This exercise builds leg strength and improves body mechanics and balance, which are all crucial in stopping falls. 

Balance Exercises: These help tremendously if your balance is unsteady but it is also important to have someone supervising you when doing this. 

  • You can first try balancing with your feet apart. 
  • Next, put your feet together. 
  • Then off one foot. 
  • If you complete the first three, you can try with your eyes closed. 

A certified trainer or physical therapist can guide and upgrade the exercises to increase the challenge. 

Additional steps to prevent falling include discussing medications and changes in exercise routine, telling your doctor of any occurrences, and asking a friend or family member to check your home for potential trip hazards.

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