How exercise can keep you from falling

September 05, 2017 | by Tricia Hutton
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

We are all familiar with the experience. It’s happened to us or to someone we know, and it can be frightening.

It’s falling — down the stairs, during a walk or just in your house. Statistically, as we get older, the risk of falling becomes more common. One in four Americans ages 65 and over experience a fall each year.

The damage from falling can be more than just injury. The fear of falling again can impact day-to-day activities.

But let’s not focus on the negative! You are certainly not alone if you have experienced a fall and/or have a fear of falling. It’s also encouraging to know that falling does not have to be a normal part of aging. There are many resources and programs designed to prevent falling. One of the best ways to prevent falls is through exercise.

We regularly hear about the benefits of exercise. Let’s look at how adding exercise can directly decrease the risk of falling:

  • Build strength. Resistance training will build your muscles and your bones, making you stronger as you move.  You will be able to hold yourself up and go through your daily routine much more easily.  As you become more consistent in your exercise routine, you will continue to be able to do what you want to do, and more!
  • Build endurance. We all get tired after a busy day. Adding exercise that raises your heart rate (like walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, and even dancing) strengthens your heart and cardiovascular system. This increases your lung capacity, increases your energy and teaches your body endurance. You can fend off that weary feeling and keep going longer.
  • Improve your balance. Losing your sense of balance is a big contributor to an increased incidence of falling. Balance is something that needs to be practiced to be maintained. Exercise programs, especially workouts that include balance-improving exercises, can make a difference.
  • Boost your confidence and make friends. You are definitely not alone if you have fallen, have a fear of falling, or are experiencing challenges in strength and balance. The more you engage in a regular exercise and fitness routine, the stronger you become and the more you can do — a definite confidence builder.  Participating in classes and programs with people who have similar interests and goals makes it more fun to stick with it.

At Edward Elmhurst Health & Fitness, there are several programs to help with Fall Prevention. One class is our Steadier Steps class that is starting in September.

The goal of the class is to build core strength and improve balance. Our Steadier Steps program features an assessment, tailored workouts based on the assessment, and a reassessment to track your progress.

Register or learn more.

Learn more about our Fall and Balance Clinic.

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