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Exercises to reduce the risk of falls

Having a fall is something that we often associate only with the elderly. Yet, you can trip or slip at any age.

If you have ever ended up on the ground, it can be quite a shock at how easy it is to fall. It is this brush with fate that makes you realise how easy it can be to break a bone.

There are two best outcomes for a fall:

  1. You land with minimal damage to yourself, and
  2. You can get back off ground and back onto your feet.

We may have little control over a trip or slip. But we do have more control over the potential damage and the ability to get back off the ground.

The key to both best outcomes is strength and balance.

Strength training is the ideal way to strengthen muscles and bones. Strong bones are less likely to break when you have a fall, and you can get up and off the ground when you do.

The good news is that strength training is not the privilege of the young and fit. Anybody, at any age has the potential to strengthen both muscles and bones. But it might be a bit daunting to start. Particularly if you have existing injuries or health conditions.

Get Active Victoria has a range of strength workouts available, from beginner to intermediate sessions, and these exercise options make use of everyday items – so you don’t even need any special equipment.

The second factor to avoid and improve fall outcomes is balance training. Balance training will be included into most strength training classes. However, there is plenty that you can include at home, as part of your daily activity.

Here are three challenges for you to include balance training at home:

  1. Stand on one leg when you are at the bench (this is handy if you need to hang on!). Time yourself – count how long you can stand on one leg without touching the bench. Challenge yourself – try this each day and see your improvement. Remember to switch legs.
    Walk the line.
  2. Challenge yourself to walk heel to toe (with no gaps in between) like you are walking on a line or balance beam. You can do this alongside your kitchen bench or table if you need support.
  3. Sit to stand. Challenge yourself to get out of your chair without using your arms.

Get Active Victoria also offers beginner workouts and challenges aimed at improving balance.

To access the workouts, login to Get Active Victoria or create a free account.

Last updated: September 26, 2023 at: 10:59 pm