Six Exercises That May Prevent Seniors From Falling

Weight training

Weight trainingIf you are an older adult, you likely already know the risks falls can pose to your health. Falls are a primary cause of serious injury for seniors, but preventing falls can be fairly easy with the right exercises. Regular workouts will help you maintain a healthy weight, build essential muscle mass, and create the flexibility that will keep falls from ruining your health. If you want to take steps to keep yourself from falling, try taking on these simple workouts:

  • Workout Indoors. You don’t have to go outside to get the exercise you need to prevent falls. Check out this list of indoor exercises for seniors for ideas on how to get your body moving in the comfort of your home or gym. You can use step exercises to build lower body strength or work out to some exercise videos without leaving your home. Simple toning moves can also help build muscle and keep your body strong. In the gym, try swimming a few laps in a pool or using an indoor track or treadmill to get a low-impact cardiovascular workout that will also build leg muscles. Completing regular cardio will also prevent weight issues that can increase the risk of falls for older adults.
  • Practice Tai Chi for Balance. Balance is absolutely critical to preventing serious falls. One of the most effective, yet gentle, ways for seniors to build balance is to begin a beneficial tai chi practice. With tai chi, you use intentional, slow movements of your limbs to increase strength while improving your balance. By beginning tai chi, seniors can also take advantage of the meditative qualities of this soothing practice, which can relieve stress and reduce anxiety. Start with some basic moves to begin boosting your balance, enhancing your muscles and calming your mind.
  • Use Yoga to Enhance Flexibility. Another ancient practice that can prevent falls is yoga. Yoga benefits your body by improving flexibility and gently stretching your joints. In fact, yoga is so effective at healing the body that many doctors prescribe yoga therapy for patients recovering from illness or injury. Best of all, yoga moves can easily be modified to fit any individual, including those with limited mobility or who have another disability. Start with a simple practice and commit to a few yoga moves every single day. With a consistent practice, you should start to notice increased range of motion and better balance, among other benefits.
  • Ride a Bike to Build Stronger Legs. Aside from being a great way to get around town, riding a bike is the perfect activity to increase muscle mass in your legs. Retaining and building muscle mass in your legs will help prevent slips, trips and falls that can lead to injury. But the benefits of getting back on your bike don’t stop at your legs. Riding a bike will also work to strengthen your core and improve the condition of your cardiovascular system. Since keeping your heart healthy can decrease your risk for deadly heart disease, cycling could be the perfect option to keep you in better shape.
  • Maintain Muscle with Strength Training. Working with weights could just be your best bet at preventing fall injuries. But you don’t have to lift a lot of weight to keep your body strong. In fact, too much weight can put strain on your joints. To build muscle using weights, try opting for weighted vests or light hand weights during your strength training moves. You may also want to work with a trainer or a physical therapist to prevent injuries and enhance your form. Add strength training to your workouts a few times a week to maintain the muscle mass you need to prevent falls.

One fall is all it takes to drastically change your life, but a fall doesn’t have to be an inevitability. Preserve your health, your independence and your life by taking simple steps to prevent falls from happening in the first place.

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