September is National Falls Prevention Awareness Month
September is Falls Prevention Awareness Month. While older adults and young children are at highest risk groups for sustaining traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to falls, everyone is at risk.
There are seven simple exercises that we can do to improve balance and strength to reduce the risk of falls.
The exercises are:
- Heel lifts- stand with both feet flat on the ground. Raise your heels and stand on your tiptoes. Hold for a second and lower back down.
- Toe lifts-stand with both feet flat on the ground. Raise your toes in the air until your weight is on your heels. Hold for a second and lower your toes.
- Leg lifts-stand straight and lift one leg off the ground. (Hold onto a chair or other support, if you need). After 10 seconds, lower your leg. Switch sides and repeat.
- Heel to toe walk-Slowly walk forward placing the heel of one foot directly in front of the other. Look ahead a bit if it helps keep your balance. Repeat for 20 steps.
- Backward leg lifts-stand straight with feet shoulder width apart. Hold on again if you need to do so and lift one leg behind you and lower it back down. Switch sides.
- Sit to stand- sit in a sturdy chair and place both feet on the floor. Stand using only your legs and slowly sit down again. You can hold your arms out in front of you or cross them.
- Wall push-ups- place your hands on the wall at chest height with your fingers pointed up. Keep your back straight and slowly bend your elbows to bring your body toward the wall. Then straighten your arms to push away from the wall.
Starting with a few repetitions at least twice a week will show benefits in balance and strength…and confidence!
Also, take the Right Steps to Prevent Falls by adding these seven strategies to your lifestyle.
- Stay physically active.
- Have your eyes and hearing tested.
- Find out about the side effects of any medicine you take.
- Get enough sleep.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Stand up slowly.
- Use an assistive device if you need help feeling steady when you walk.