As we wrap up Fall Prevention Week, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide you with everyday exercises that you can do to help lower your risk of falling. These exercises to prevent falls will help to improve your balance and strengthen your core – two main components for staying steady on your feet.
Falling can create a host of problems in addition to racking up healthcare costs. You need to be proactive and do your part to prevent any accidents that are a direct cause of falling. Here are six exercises to help prevent falls in seniors.
This exercise is called sit-to-stand, and as the name suggests, it involves going from a sitting position to a standing position. Begin in a seated position and use your arms and legs to stand up. Doing this repeatedly is beneficial for improving the body’s mechanism and building leg strength, which is crucial in preventing slip and fall accidents.
2. Leg Extensions
This exercise helps to strengthen your thigh muscles in addition to decreasing knee pain. Both of which will help to prevent falls. Start by sitting in a chair with both feet flat on the floor. Straighten one of your legs as far as you can. Lower it back down slowly, and repeat with the opposite leg. Do the exercise 10 times for each leg.
This step-up exercise is essential for strengthening your upper legs and glutes. This exercise requires a small step stool or staircase step with a handrail. From a standing position, place one leg on the step and follow with the other. Then, return the foot slowly back down, keeping one foot on the steps the entire time. Repeat 10 times with each leg.
4. Toe Stand Exercise
The toe stand exercise strengthens your ankle and calves muscles to improve balance. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, rise up onto the balls of your feet, and then lower your heels back down slowly. While doing this exercise, you should slightly bend both knees and hold on to something for support. Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times.
5. Knee Curls
The knee curl exercise strengthens essential muscles for walking and balance, including the lower back and buttocks. Start by holding on to a chair for support. Lift one leg behind you, curling the knee all the way so that the heel moves towards the buttocks. From there, slowly lower it back to a standing position. Repeat 10 times with each leg.
6. Heel-toe Walk
This exercise is performed by placing one foot in front of the other so the heel of your front foot touches the toes of your back foot. It’s okay if your toe and heel don’t completely touch. Take 10 to 15 steps. Make sure to keep your eyes fixed on a point to ensure stability.
If you’re afraid that you’re at risk of falling, talk to your provider to create a plan of action together. Perhaps physical therapy might benefit you, or a medication review to ensure your prescriptions aren’t putting you at risk. It’s always best to be honest with your provider.