Exercise is enjoyable in so many forms, whether you’re taking a relaxing walk or biking the trails. There’s nothing like the rush afterwards. Exercise has many other benefits though, one of which is fall prevention.
Regular exercise builds strength and improves balance. Doctors recommend 30 minutes a day but it doesn’t have to be all at once! Split your workout into manageable chunks. For example, go for a 15-minute walk in the morning followed by five minutes of stretching. Later, do 10 minutes of lifting light weights.
Types of Exercise
There are three main types of exercise that you can do to reduce the risk of falling.
- Cardio – activities that get your heart pumping. (like walking, running or dancing)
- Flexibility – activities that stretch your muscles and loosen joints. (like yoga or aqua fitness)
- Strength – activities that increase muscle mass
Try including all three in your workout. Strength exercises, especially those that strengthen the back and core improve balance greatly. They also help maintain bone density which decreases the risk of serious injury after a fall. Exercises that improve flexibility also improve ease of movement. Cardio activities increase endurance. Combined, these health benefits make things like navigating the home and stairs less scary. Move through the world confidently knowing that you’re reducing the risk of falling with every workout.
Before starting a new physical activity, you should always consult a doctor first. They will help you exercise safely.
Other examples of exercises:
- Cardio – swimming, tennis, squash, racquetball, biking
- Flexibility – Tai Chi, stretching
- Strength – climbing stairs, using resistance bands
Exercising is often more fun when done with others. Try asking a friend to take a nature walk with you or sign up for a group class at the community centre. This can be a great way to make new friends! Speak to your doctor before trying any of these activities.
For More Information
Check out the Finding Balance BC website here for more info on fall prevention. They also have exercise instructions available in Chinese, Persian/Farsi, Punjabi and English.
Click here for a guide on the best ways for older adults to get stronger. It includes a list of benefits, including reducing back pain and symptoms of disease.