If you have ever fallen at home, you know how scary and dangerous it can be.
We’re here with some helpful tips you can implement to improve your balance and make your home a little safer.
Why Aging Adults Fall?
Falls among aging adults are common, and they usually result from a combination of factors.
For example, taking more than five medications has been shown to increase a person’s risk of falling. In addition, having an impaired vision can make it more difficult to see obstacles, especially when it’s dark.
Finally, many aging adults are less active than they used to be. This can result in a reduction of bone strength, muscle mass, balance, and coordination.
Whether you are already active or would like to become less sedentary, there’s always time to improve. Some simple balance exercises can help you regain your strength and coordination to minimize your risk of falling at home.
3 Balance Exercises to Prevent Falls at Home
These exercises can be done from anywhere, at any time. They will strengthen essential muscles in your core and lower body to improve your coordination.
Spending a few minutes every day to work on improving your balance can significantly reduce your risk of falling and getting injured.
Note: When you start out, it’s good to have someone nearby who can help if you become unsteady.
Exercise 1: Sit to stand
Practicing standing up from a seated position will strengthen the muscles in your legs, glutes, and core. All of these muscles are necessary for helping you stay upright, even when you encounter an obstacle.
Sit in a sturdy chair (a folding chair or kitchen chair are great examples) with your feet flat on the ground. Make sure the chair won’t slide or roll away from you and have a steady surface in front of you, such as a sturdy table or counter. You may need to hold onto it if you lose your balance.
Move forward so that your rear is toward the front edge of the chair. Now, lean your chest forward while keeping your back straight to shift your body weight forward. Next, squeeze your glutes (i.e., your butt muscles) and rise to a standing position. Use your hands for support if you need to by pushing up from the chair. The goal is to build up to doing this without using your hands at all.
Slowly sit back down, get back into starting position, and repeat until you have done this 10 times.
Exercise 2: Balance with two feet
Start in a standing position with something sturdy, like a counter, in front of you that you can hold onto if you become unsteady.
Stand with your feet as wide as your shoulders. Keep your eyes open and look forward as you hold this position for 10 seconds. Your goal is to work up to holding this position for 30 seconds without wavering. Then, you can move on to our final exercise.
Exercise 3: Balance with one foot
Now, you’ll do the same thing as before but work on just one foot at a time. So, stand in front of a sturdy countertop with your eyes open and your legs about shoulder-width apart. Then, slowly raise your left foot off the floor and hold this position for 10 seconds. It doesn’t have to be high. (If you waver a lot, start by just keeping your left foot on its tiptoes.) Then, repeat on the other side.
As with the previous exercise, the goal is to do five repetitions on each leg, holding each position for up to 30 seconds at a time.
Falls Can Be Prevented With A Single Step Stool
Falling at home is common among aging adults, but that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. The key is understanding how to prevent falls so you can stay upright and avoid injuries.
Working on your balance and strength will go a long way toward helping you stabilize every time you walk or stand in your home and elsewhere.
It’s also important to think about making your home safer to avoid situations where you may lose your balance.
Adding a small step stool can make it easier for you to reach high places and get where you need to be, whether that’s in the bathtub, in your bed, on the toilet, or anywhere else. For example, StrongTek’s non-slip step stool is easy to take with you and place anywhere in your home. It has a non-slip surface so, you’ll never have to worry about sliding off.
A good step stool can make your home more accessible, whether it be for children helping their parents to prepare dinner or an aging adult who needs some extra support when climbing into bed.
Learn about more ways to improve your functional fitness at home so you can continue to live a long, healthy, and active life by visiting the StrongTek Fitness Academy.