Exercises to prevent falls

519 points
Exercises to prevent falls

The falls they are one of the leading causes of fatal injuries, especially in older adults. As you age, your balance is thrown off, causing you to not stand as grounded as before, but there is hope. You don’t have to take this sitting down, as you can improve your balance and prevent falls by strengthening your muscles.

The National Council on Aging offers some startling statistics on falls. Did you know that one in four people over the age of 65 will have a severe fall annually? In hospitals across the United States, every 10 seconds, older adults seek treatments for a fall.

Unfortunately, every twenty seconds, someone will die from a serious fall. This Council also states that 2.8 million people are admitted to hospital annually due to falls and 27,000 will die. You probably knew it was a risk, but you may not have realized how serious it could be for you.

10 Easy Strengthening Exercises to Prevent Falls

The good news is that you can do something about it. Sure, you can’t turn back the hands of time, but you can strengthen your muscles, improve your flexibility, and improve your balance. Here are ten exercises to help you stimulate your system and prevent falls.

Toe raises (gain stability)

Exercises to prevent falls

Could you do something as small as raising your toes to impact your balance? This gentler exercise can help you prevent falls and strengthen those vital muscles in the soles of the legs, feet, and ankles. You will need a chair to keep your balance during this maneuver. That is how:

  • Sit in a chair, upright and with good posture, keeping your body comfortable.
  • Stretch your arms straight in front of you or relax them at your sides.
  • Slowly lift your toes off the ground, shifting your weight to your heels.
  • Try to do ten repetitions and increase as you develop more resistance.

march in place

1662819582 394 Exercises to prevent falls

Marching in place is an easy exercise that anyone can do and you’ve probably done it a dozen times. However, you probably didn’t know its impact on strengthening your muscles. The key here is to use your muscles instead of momentum and make sure you have a chair for balance.

  • Stand up straight with your arms at your sides.
  • Start walking slowly, paying more attention to stretching those muscles than gaining speed.
  • Now, lift your legs up towards your chest area.
  • Try to do ten leg raises on each side, alternating to avoid pain and stiffness.

Balance on one leg (older adults can use a chair to help them)

balance on one leg avoid falls

Balancing on one leg is easy and furthers the goal of strengthening those muscles. You should have that chair close at hand for support.

  • Place your hands on the chair and slowly bend your knee to allow you to easily lift your foot.
  • You must support all the weight of your body on one leg.
  • Place this foot on the ground and repeat with the other leg.
  • Try it hands-free if you feel you can do it safely, or use one hand as you get more stable.

Lateral twist (core strength will help prevent falls)

This exercise is a bit more challenging, so older adults can use a chair if needed.

lateral twist prevent falls
  • Place a chair on each side of you that is the same height. The chair provides stability if you need it. However, those with good balance can also do it without help.
  • Stand firmly on the floor, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Slowly rotate your body from midsection to head in one direction, holding on to the chair for balance.
  • Hold this position for five to ten seconds.
  • Bring your body back to a straight position and twist to the other side.
  • You can also do it without the chairs, trying to keep your balance with your hands raised.

wall push ups

wall pushups prevent falls

You can stretch and strengthen your entire body while targeting your upper chest and arm area. This will help your muscle flexibility and improve your balance to prevent falls.

  • You should find a wall that you can lean on and place your hands flat on this surface. Try to keep your feet within a foot of the wall.
  • Your palms should be shoulder-width apart and shoulder-width apart.
  • Your feet should never leave the floor as you slowly move your upper body toward the wall and hold onto it.
  • Using your strength, push yourself back from the wall until your arms are straight.
  • Strive for ten to twenty repetitions, but stop if you feel any pain or discomfort in your chest.

Balance wand (seated exercise for seniors)

You can take a seat and do this strengthening exercise to prevent falls. Make sure you have a cane and a chair near you.

balance wand to prevent falls
  • Hold the bottom of the cane in the palm of your hand. You want to make sure that the cane remains upright.
  • Hold the cane and balance for five to ten seconds.
  • Now, use the other hand and balance the cane.

Single limb posture to prevent falls

This move is for you if you want to prevent falls while strengthening your muscles. You will focus on the legs, lower back, and hip region. With this maneuver, you should be able to stand on one foot while balancing against the back of a chair.

1662819582 212 Exercises to prevent falls
  • Use a sturdy chair and stand behind it, holding on to the back. You can skip the chair if you feel stable enough on your feet.
  • Slowly lift your right foot and balance your body on your left side. Strive to hold this position for fifteen to twenty seconds, if possible.
  • Switch to the left side and hold the position for fifteen to twenty seconds. Try to do five repetitions on each side.

clock scope

This is a psychological exercise as well as a physical challenge, so be ready to use your imagination. You can sit through the entire activity, which benefits older adults who might want to learn a new chair exercise.

prevent falls with watch exercise

Imagine yourself standing in the center of a giant clock. Twelve o’clock should be in front of you, while six o’clock will be behind you. This is how the maneuver is done:

  1. Start with your right leg and lift it so that it points to twelve. Your arm should also point in the same direction.
  2. Rotate your arm until it faces nine o’clock.
  3. Now, point to the six, who will be behind you.
  4. Rotate the arm to return to nine and then move it to twelve.
  5. Now move to the left arm and try the numbers three and nine instead of six and twelve.

Walking with feet in line, a leg strengthener to prevent falls

The core area you need to address to prevent falls is strengthening your legs, and heel-to-toe walking can do that for you. This will help you walk with more stability and reduce the risk of falls.

walk with feet in line prevent falls
  • Take your right foot and put it in front of the left.
  • The heel of the left foot should touch the toes of the right foot.
  • Now shift your weight so your toes bear the brunt, and do the same with your left foot.

shoulder roll for older adults

This strengthening exercise is for you if you want something simple to improve your body balance. The important part of this maneuver is that you can sit or stand.

1662819583 590 Exercises to prevent falls
  • Decide if sitting or standing is more comfortable for you.
  • Roll your shoulders around and up toward the ceiling.
  • Roll your shoulders back to the starting position.
  • Now roll your shoulders forward and then down.

Final Thoughts on Fall Prevention

If you have balance issues by nature, or are getting older and notice a drop in your stamina, these exercises will help. When you work to strengthen your muscles in specific areas, reduce the risk of fallswhich can be catastrophic.

While these are just a few exercises to help, there are plenty of other things older adults, or anyone else, can do to help improve their mobility. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work or on trips.
  2. Go up and down the stairs in your house a few more times a day.
  3. Develop a walking routine each night.
  4. Be active for at least an hour a day, cleaning the house, cooking or shopping. The more you move, the more flexible your muscles will become.
  5. Another consideration is to add a supplement of creatine to help strengthen your body. Creatine improves strength, increases lean muscle mass, and helps muscles recover faster during exercise.
  6. According to National Library of Medicine, the inclusion of a simple supplement in the studies showed a dramatic improvement in muscle injuries. It may be something you consider adding to your exercise routines to prevent falls.

Like it? Share with your friends!

519 points