As we get older, we become more at risk for falling. Falls are a leading cause of mortality and disability. Certain conditions can increase this risk, but there are factors we can control. Exercise is one of them. It can help strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, improve balance, and increase endurance. All of these factors are important for movement. Below are two exercises that might help improve strength and balance.
Toe Stand: This exercise can help strengthen the calves and ankle muscles. To do this, hold on to a solid support for balance. Stand with back straight and slightly bend both knees. Push up onto your tiptoes as high as possible then slowly lower your heels to the floor.
Knee Curls: This exercise can help strengthen the buttocks and lower back muscles. To do this, hold on to a solid support for balance. Stand with back straight, feet shoulder-width apart, and slightly bend both knees. Lift one leg straight back, then bend the knee and bring your heel towards the buttocks. Slowly lower the leg into a standing position. Repeat 10 – 15 times with each leg.
If falling is a concern, don’t be afraid to talk to us. We can assess the situation to see if steps can be made to mitigate fall risk. These can include evaluation of medications for side-effects as well as seeing if any fall hazards exist in the home.