There is nothing funny about falling or losing your balance. Unfortunately, most people are unaware their balance and coordination are slipping away. As we age, the length of our stride shortens, our pace slows down and our vision can become compromised making us feel a tad more wobbly! We tend to shy away from challenging environment that could expose us to being unstable.
Research shows that one in three adults over the age of 65 take a serious tumble each year leading to disability and immobility. The good news is, you don’t have to be a part of this statistic!
Here are a couple tips and recommendations that could help you stay of your feet.
1.“Use it or lose it”
You can maintain better balance if you keep moving! The more active you are the better change your muscles and joints can react to a challenging environment. Recommendations encourage adults to get 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking) per week, which means you should be walking 30 minutes most days. Additionally, activities that improve your strength, balance, coordination and flexibility are encouraged to improve equilibrium in the body. A physiotherapist can tailor a program and give you recommendations that are appropriate for you.
Low vision, impaired vision or any changes to vision can significantly increase your risk of falling. Certain medications you could be taking or combining can impact your vision. It is important if you suspect this is you, you seek advice from your GP regarding a medication review or optometrist for an eye review. Meanwhile, you can implement home safety modifications such as using night lights, decluttering your home, and removing home hazards. Making your home safer may include securing loose rugs, using nonslip mats in the bathroom, and storing necessities within easy reach.
It is really important to look after all aspects of your health to maximize your wellbeing and reduce your falls risk. This begins with getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Decreased sleep quality can cause difficulty concentrating and slower response time, therefore increasing your falls risk. Read more about healthy sleep patterns here. Eating a healthy diet consisting of adequate dietary protein and vitamin D have been shown to maintain muscle mass, strength and coordination. Read more about healthy eating here. Start by talking to your doctor or other health professionals about who can help you better manage your healthy lifestyle.
Alix is a physiotherapist here at Synergy Physio who is passionate about helping you live a stronger healthier life, without the risks of falls. Read more about Alix here
So if you feel like your or a loved ones strength, mobility or balance has been declining, or you or a loved one have been diagnosed recently with a neurological condition such as Parkinsons then contact us or make an appointment with Alix, who would love to help you.
Watch her short video here with two key exercises you can try to help maintain your balance!