Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Falling: Balance Training Will Keep You On Your Feet

The CDC has published a wide range of compelling statistics on the risks of falling for seniors which we should all know about. Whether you're already over 65, or just want to keep an eye on the seniors in your family or community, it's important to know how to avoid falling and tell others about it. Did you know, for instance:
-- One in three older adults in the United States falls every year; every 18 seconds an older adult is treated in an Emergency Room for a fall, every 35 minutes an older adult dies as a result of a fall.
The CDC's recommendations are simple and straight-forward. Notice exercise is at the top of their list.
How can older adults prevent falls? Older adults can take several steps to protect their independence and reduce their risk of falling. They can:

-- Exercise regularly; exercise programs like Tai Chi that increase strength and improve balance are especially good.

-- Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines–both prescription and over-the counter–to reduce side effects and interactions.

-- Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year.

-- Improve the lighting in their home.

-- Reduce hazards in their home that can lead to falls.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web–based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2006) [cited 2007 Jan 15]. Available from URL: www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars.
Balance training is important for everyone working out at the gym, but many people don't bother taking the time to learn how to do it. Since we all lose our sense of balance as we age, everyone young and old should add balance training to their workout. Ask the fitness trainers in your gym about balance training and I'm sure they'll have a lots of good tips on how to keep you on your feet. Now, as they say, Just Do It!