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The Best Exercises to Help Prevent Falls

The Best Exercises to Help Prevent Falls
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There are plenty of reasons why as we get older our chances of falling increases. Falls could result in multiple factors such as side effects from certain medications, a sedentary lifestyle, vision problems, balance problems and the natural gradual muscle weakness that occur in the lower legs as we get older.

According to the CDC, about 1 in 4 seniors fall each year and about 1 in 5 falls result in a serious injury. So, what can you do to help prevent falling? You may want to start considering exercising.

Libby Bergman, a physical therapist from North Carolina says that “as we age and become more sedentary, we slowly lose our balance skills.” To combat a sedentary lifestyle, Bergman and other expert physical therapists suggest the following exercises:

Corner Stand

  • stand with your back in a corner of a room and put a sturdy chair in front of you.
  • make sure you are standing in between the wall and chair without touching either.
  • try and hold this move for one full minute, only using the wall or chair to correct your balance if needed.

Tandem Stance

  • position your feet to stand with one foot in front of the other (like you’re balancing on a balance beam)
  • only tap your surroundings if you need to re-adjust your balance if you need to
  • hold this exercise for 30 seconds and repeat it up to 3 times

Tandem Walking

  • position your feet to walk with one foot in front of the other (like you’re walking on a balance beam)
  • count how many steps you can get in before having to hold onto something for balance
  • try to increase the number of steps each time

Child’s Pose

  • get on all fours on the floor with your palms facing down
  • push your glutes to your heels
  • put your forehead to the floor and hold pose for 10 seconds
  • rise back up to all fours
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Sit-to-Stands

  • sit in a sturdy chair that does not have wheels and keep your feet flat on the ground
  • Sit close to the edge of the chair to where your bottom is at the edge of the seat
  • push your weight through your legs and rise into a standing position
  • once standing, slowly sit back down
  • repeat 5 times

Standing Dual Heel Raises

  • stand next to a counter and place both hands on top of the counter
  • put your feet shoulder-width apart and stand on your tiptoes 
  • do 10 of these in a row

Step Ups

**this exercise requires a small step stool or a bottom stair of a staircase with a handrail**

  • start with both feet on the ground and your hand supported on a hand rail or counter
  • step up onto your right foot, then your left foot follows
  • step back down in the same order
  • do 10 of these on each side

Bridges

**this exercise requires you to lay on your back**

  • lay on your back and bend both knees shoulder-width apart
  • brace your hands palm down and lift your hips toward the ceiling
  • squeeze glute muscles and pause at top

These exercises are known to help improve overall balance and strength. More information on these exercises and benefits can be found here.

Source:

https://health.usnews.com/wellness/slideshows/best-exercises-for-preventing-falls-in-older-adults

https://www.cdc.gov/falls/facts.html