Worried About You or a Senior Loved One Falling? Here’s How Exercise Can Help
Falls send over 3 million seniors to the emergency room every single year. With these falls accounting for many of the injuries and fatalities in older adults, it’s important to take steps to prevent them. You may be aware of changes you can make around your home, but did you know that exercise can prevent falls? Keep reading to learn more about fall prevention.
Protecting yourself against falls means working out year-round. But the weather and mobility issues can make getting outside for exercise impossible. Luckily, there are several indoor exercises for seniors that you can complete in a gym or even at home. Use this list of indoor exercises from Medicare.org to get you started. You can work on step exercises with some basic equipment or even practice a few toning strength exercises. Work a few easy balance moves into your indoor routine as well to better protect yourself from falling.
Get in a Pool
Exercise is important for seniors, but it’s also important to find low-impact workouts. Low-impact exercise will be easier on aging joints and less strenuous for those with injuries to complete. One of the best low-impact workouts is swimming. Swimming laps a few times a day can help you burn calories and build lean muscle mass that will keep you from falling. If you want an even lower-impact workout in the pool, try some water aerobics. Movement in the water is much gentler on your joints and still strengthens your muscles.
Take a Morning Walk
Building muscle mass is essential for preventing fall injuries, but maintaining a healthy weight can help too. Obesity is linked to falls in older adults, as excess weight can throw older adults off balance. One of the best ways for seniors to maintain a healthy weight is to get a little activity in each day. Simple activities like a morning walk or a bike ride can be enough to prevent obesity when performed for a half hour at least five times a week. As a bonus, a little sunlight will help your body absorb vitamin D, which is essential for calcium absorption and healthy bones.
Sign Up for a Dance Class
If you love to move along to music, then a dance class could be a great way to get the exercise you need. Dancing is another healthy form of exercise that burns a few calories, builds lean muscle, and even improves coordination and balance. Just about any kind of dance will do, from salsa to ballroom. Many seniors have found Jazzercise classes to be a fun, safe way to practice their dance moves and meet new people in the process. So sign up for a dance class at your gym or studio to dance your fears of falling away.
Begin a Yoga Practice
Flexibility and balance can be key for senior fall prevention. Beginning a yoga practice is the perfect way for you to preserve and improve your own balance and flexibility. Yoga is a gentle, effective way to maintain strength in your body, and the moves can easily be adapted to fit any age or skill level, so you don’t have to be a human pretzel to pick up your own yoga practice. You can find online yoga tutorials to begin your practice at home, or better yet, begin working in a class or with an instructor to find poses and yoga styles that are best for you.
Work with a Physical Therapist
For those with previous injuries and mobility issues, regular workouts may not be the best bet for staying in shape. If you have an injury or issue that prevents you from exercising, talk to your doctor about working with a physical therapist. Physical therapy can help you safely regain your strength and set up a fitness plan that won’t cause you additional pain or injury.
Don’t become another statistic and let a fall ruin your life. Making regular exercise a regular part of your life can help you stay strong enough to avoid a serious fall. It can even save your life.
By Sharon Wagner-SeniorFriendly.info
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