Prevent Falls in Seniors with These Fun Exercises and Activities

Author

Heritage Pointe Assisted Living

For more information about the author, click to view their website: Heritage Pointe

Posted on

Jan 19, 2024

Book/Edition

Nebraska - Eastern Region

No one wants to experience a fall, but for those over 55, a fall can lead to serious injury. That’s why learning how to prevent falls is so important for healthy aging.

Here’s a look at why falls happen, why preventing them is important, and some exercises and activities that can help older adults build balance and stability, while actually being fun and engaging.

To help prevent falls, first understand why they happen

Here are some common reasons why seniors fall:

  • Changes in vision
  • Weakening hip and leg muscles
  • Poor posture or spinal degeneration
  • Stumbling due to the inability to lift your feet
  • Slower reaction time to obstacles
  • Drug interactions that result in dizziness or poor balance
  • Lightheadedness caused by low blood pressure

Why it’s so important to prevent falls

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 36 million falls are reported among older adults each year, resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. One out of every five falls causes an injury, such as a broken bone or head injury.

Working on flexibility, stability, stretching and strength are vital when your goal is to prevent falls so you can live a long and healthy life. Many of the movements are simple, and many are fun activities as well. Always remember to take your time, do what feels comfortable, and breathe deeply. Here are just a few suggested exercises to prevent falls.

Getting started: activities and exercises to help prevent falls

Dance

Dancing is a wonderful exercise for aerobic fitness, weight management, muscle and bone strength and endurance. In addition, moving through space in different directions and in different ways improves static and dynamic balance, spatial awareness, coordination, and reaction time. Dancing is also an excellent way to get all the benefits of socializing and interacting with others on a regular basis. And it can be a lot of fun!

Tai Chi

The National Council on Aging reports that many studies have shown Tai Chi to be one of the most effective exercises to prevent falls. Tai Chi targets leg strength, flexibility, range of motion, and reflexes.

According to the Tai Chi for Health Institute, with regular practice, Tai Chi improves balance by strengthening muscles and co-ordination; at the same time, it strengthens the mind, thereby improving calmness and confidence in not falling. Thus, both physically and mentally, Tai Chi is an extremely effective exercise when your goal is to prevent falls.

Yoga

Yoga is good for so many things that affect healthy aging: reducing stress, treating fatigue, lessening pain, and perhaps most importantly, increasing core strength and balance. This last one can reduce the risk of falling.

You don’t have to do complicated moves to the benefits. For example, the simple mountain pose can help you improve your posture and body awareness. Stand tall, weight distributed evenly on both feet, keep your knees slightly bent. Draw your shoulder blades together and down your back. Relax your arms and let your palms face forward. Breathe deeply and relax.

Walking

No special equipment required, just a good pair of walking shoes and a place to walk (indoors or outdoors). Add a friend or two and you have a fun way to get a workout that doubles as a balance booster!

According to Harvard Health, walking strengthens the muscles in the lower body. It also is a great way to stretch muscles and thus improve your posture, which in turn, can improve your balance. Don’t worry about distance, especially if you are beginning a walking program. And don’t hesitate to use a cane or walker if you need one. As you feel stronger, add more minutes to your walks. Try to walk at least 150 minutes a week. Wear comfortable clothing, walk with confidence, and breathe deeply.

Grapevine

Here’s an easy move that can help improve your balance. You might begin by being near a wall or a chair to help steady you or hold someone’s hand if needed. Simply step across in front of your right foot with your left leg. Continue moving across the room sideways, uncrossing the left leg. Repeat. When ready, just reverse direction. Wear smooth-bottomed shoes and concentrate on your movements.

At Heritage Communities, we are here to help you live better and live longer.

We do this by proactively implementing best-in-class lifestyle enrichments, senior-centric technologies, and the latest approaches to senior care. Our values define how we lead, care, and behave at every community we own. Let us tell you more.

We redefine living better. You make it your own. Download our free guide, Family Decision Toolkit. Or contact us today 402-614-5222.

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How To Find a Trusted Home Buying Company

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all the transaction costs to sell a house.Realize that when an agent says they can sell a house for $200,000, for example, that is a "gross" number and not the "net" amount that a seller will put in their pocket.  The total amount of transaction costs and what a seller will "net" from the sale of a house will vary and is dependent upon a number of factors.  In average markets, transaction costs will typically amount to 10% to 15% of the gross selling price.Credible and Trustworthy.  Home Downsizing Solutions and their predecessor entity have had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau for more than 25 years.  They also have numerous testimonials and 5 start Google reviews from those 25+ years.As mentioned above, I have a real estate license with an SRES designation.I've written books, articles, and provide other information to educate homeowners about selling a house and downsizing or moving to senior living.Home Downsizing Solutions is also an Industry Partner with the NASMM (National Association of Senior Move Managers).Why Would Someone Want To Sell A House To A Home Buying Company?What I tell every homeowner I meet with is, that if the benefits that Home Downsizing Solutions offers are of enough value, we can be a great solution.  Otherwise, one of the Total Solutions Agents we work with could be a better option to list and sell their house in a traditional manner.What Are Home Buying Company Benefits?No Need To Do Repairs or Updates to A House.  If your house is in great condition, this item is most likely not very important.  But to a person who has owned a house for 20, 30, or more years and has deferred maintenance or updates to be competitive with potential buyers, this may be a very valuable benefit.Contacting multiple contractors, getting bids, ensuring the work is done well, and living in a construction zone is not something that every homeowner wants to deal with.  I've also had numerous sellers say, "If I do all that work and put a bunch of money into my house, I just as well stay."No Need To Get Rid Of The Stuff.  With Home Downsizing Solutions, I always tell sellers to take what you want, sell what you want, and leave the rest...  we'll take care of it.  Unlike a traditional sale, where you want the house to show as well as possible, we don't care what the house looks like or the amount of stuff.  We purchase hoarder houses, so whatever stuff a seller has is not an issue.  This eliminates the need of getting a dumpster and the time and effort to go through stuff that a seller just doesn't care about.No Showings.  A lot of sellers we've worked with just don't want to get and keep their house in a show ready condition.  They don't want strangers in their house.  They don't want to have to leave their house every time an agent wants to show the house.  Maybe someone in the household has health issues that does not allow them to leave the house, or at least not without a great deal of effort and planning.No Whole House 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Local Services By This Author

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Memory Care 16811 Burdette Street, Omaha, Nebraska, 68116

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Heritage Pointe

Assisted Living 16811 Burdette Street, Omaha, Nebraska, 68116

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