Staying physically active is one of the best strategies in preventing falls. Lower-body strength and balance exercises can help prevent falls and the disability that may result. Weight-bearing activities, like walking or climbing stairs, may slow bone loss from osteoporosis. If you do suffer a fracture, your bones would be less likely to break and could heal faster.
To help you get the exercise you need, enrollees in a PERACare health care plan have access to the SilverSneakers® Fitness program, which includes classes that can help improve strength, balance, and flexibility—like Tai Chi, aerobics, yoga, and a stability class designed specifically for fall prevention. To find availability in your area go to www.silversneakers.com/learn/classes/ or call SilverSneakers at 1-888-423-4632.
Beyond staying physically fit, there are other things you can do to help prevent falls. The National Institutes of Health’s Go4Life program suggests:
- Having your eyes and hearing tested often. Wear glasses when needed, and if you have a hearing aid, be sure it fits well.
- Finding out about the side effects of any medicine you take. If a drug makes you sleepy or dizzy, tell your doctor or pharmacist.
- Getting enough sleep. If you’re sleepy, you’re more likely to fall.
- Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink. Even a small amount can affect balance and reflexes.
- Standing up slowly after eating, lying down, or sitting. Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop, which can make you feel faint.
- Wearing rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes that fully support your feet. Wearing only socks or footwear with smooth soles on stairs or floors without carpet can be unsafe.
Source: National Institute on Aging
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