I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” You’ve probably seen the ads for senior help products on TV—an older man or woman falls to the ground and isn’t able to stand again. This is not just a marketing move; falling is an unfortunate reality. As people age, falls become more serious, and not just because getting up is hard. You are more prone to breaking bones as you get older. Balance and fall prevention become a necessity as you age, not just a health exercise.
Since your muscles weaken over time, they are less able to adjust to changes and stabilize your steps, leaving you more prone to slips and trips. Vision and reaction time decreases certainly don’t help, either. So to avoid fall injuries, you need to work on improving your stability. Some simple exercises done regularly can help significantly improve your balance and fall prevention:
- One leg balance: Holding a counter, try to stand on one foot for 30 seconds. As that becomes easier, remove your hand from the support.
- Knee marching: March in place lifting your knees as high as you can. Try to do it without holding on to anything.
- Stepping over: Set a small object—less than six inches high—on the ground and practice stepping over it.
- Line walking: Use painter’s tape to put a straight line on your floor. Try to walk along it like a tightrope.
- Leg raises: Lift one leg straight out in front of you and put it down again five times. Then repeat the motion lifting your leg to the side and then the back.
Balance and fall prevention involve multiple aspects of senior health, including foot and ankle strength. As you get older, don’t neglect conditioning and strengthening your lower limbs. Here at Sierra Foot & Ankle in Gardnerville, we can help you evaluate your feet and ankles and maximize exercises to improve your stability. Contact us for an appointment or more information by visiting the online contact page or calling (775) 783-8037.