Improve your balance and strength to prevent falls
According to the National Institute of Aging – over 2 million people go to the hospital or emergency room every year because of a fall. As we age our balance can become a challenge for us to maintain. Especially, if we do not continually practice and strengthen the parts of our body that help us maintain our balance. Those parts or muscles can become less than strong because we stop bending, using our tippy toe, heel walking, dancing, or generally moving so we have to take up some replacement way of keeping ourselves in balance.
Here is some more daunting statistics,
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention*:
- 25% of Americans 65 and older fall each year
- Older adults falls are the leading cause of fatal injury
- It cost over 31 billion per year in fall related injuries
- And by 2020 they are expecting that financial cost to rise to 67.7 billion.
The fact is that a fall can impact quality of life. If we fall or a loved one falls it may lead to a fear of falling which can limit all sorts of fun activities and any social outings. The side effect can further result in worsening physically, isolation and depression.
It is said that there is a 30 % increase in overall body strength exercising stability and balance. How do you increase stability and strength? One of the best ways to improve core strength and therefore balance and stability is by following some of the principles from yoga and Pilates.
We have choices.
- Join a Pilates class
- Join a Yoga Class
- Check out the local Y or senior recreation center
- Buy a DVD or watch class on TV with a friend
- Do some fun activity, such as:
- Even housework is good
You may also be interested in watching how exercise has long term benefits.
Download the Tip Sheet from National Council on Aging Exercise to Improve Your Balance (PDF, 447.23 KB)