Royce Shook

1 year ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Strategies to help strengthen your core and help prevent falls

Here are some strategies to help strengthen your core and lower-body muscles. Just a note, do not start or change your exercise routine without consultation with your health care provider. Some of us may find the following easy, but some may find them hard. 

Strategies to help strengthen your core and help prevent fallsFacts: The cause of falls

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« The first step to avoiding a fall is to
understand what risks cause us to fall.

* The second step is to take action to
reduce the risk of a fall.

« The truth is: Falls are NOT a normal
part of aging and there are many
things you can do to prevent falls.

Kneeling Extension

Start this move by kneeling on all fours with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Tighten your core muscles and slowly lift your right arm and extend it straight forward. Slowly lift your left leg and extend it straight back, with your toes pointed down. Hold for 10 seconds and slowly lower to starting position. Repeat three times on each side. If this movement is too advanced, try the easy modifications of this movement, lifting just an arm or just a leg. Hold for 10 seconds and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat three times on each side.

Hip Lifts

To strengthen your core muscles, lower back and buttocks, try this simple exercise. Lie on your back with your knees bent and with your arms flat on the floor on either side of you. Rotating your pelvis and tailbone down, tighten your core muscles and push your lower back into the floor. Holding this position, slowly lift your midsection off the ground, using your legs, arms and shoulders to balance. Hold in an elevated position for 10 seconds, and slowly lower to starting position, relaxing the core muscles. Repeat five times.

Plank Hold

Plank holds are an excellent way to strengthen your core muscles and lower back muscles. Lying face down on the floor, tuck your toes into the ground and place your elbows on the ground on either side of your body. Keep your stomach muscles tight and slowly raise your body up off the ground and hold in an elevated position. You must keep your core muscles tight and your bottom lifted as high as your shoulders to avoid strain on the lower back. Hold for 10 seconds and slowly lower to starting position. Repeat five times. As you become stronger, hold the position for longer periods of time.

Stand on one leg

Try to do this while you are washing the dishes. When you can hold the pose for 30 seconds on each side, to increase the challenge, even more, do it with your eyes closed.

Take a tai chi class

A study of tai chi practitioners in their mid-60s found that on measures of stability, most scored around the 90th percentile of the American Fitness Standards. 

Try this yoga pose for better balance: Walk heel to toe

The same sobriety field test cops give drunk drivers also improves balance. Take 20 steps forward, heel to toe. Then walk backward, with toe to heel, in a straight line.

Do squats

To build quads, start with a simple squat: With feet hip-width apart, bend knees and hips and slowly lower yourself as if sitting in a chair behind you. Keep arms straight out, abs tight, back straight, and knees above shoelaces. Stop when thighs are parallel to the floor (or as close as you can get), then contract glutes as you stand back up. Aim for 3 sets of 10, with a 1-minute break after each set.

Practice the force

It takes muscle strength to get out of a chair, but it takes muscle force to do it quickly. Try this move: Instead of gingerly rising from a chair, once in a while leap out of it so forcefully that you need to take a few running steps after you do so. (You can use your arms to gain momentum.) 

Get a good night's rest

Sleep more than 7 hours a night. Sleep deprivation (here are 5 signs you're sleep deprived) slows reaction time and a study at California Pacific Medical Center shows that it's also directly related to falls. Researchers tracked nearly 3,000 older women and found that those who typically slept between 5 and 7 hours each night were 40% more likely to fall than those who slept longer.



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Comments

Ken Boddie

1 year ago #3

Tai chi is a good choice, Royce, or many gymns round my way have beginners’ classes for oldies. Incidentally, I've got a friend who’s eyesight is failing and he keeps tripping and falling as a consequence of this. Last week he fell down the shaft leading to the Local Council’s historical old water supply. I guess he just couldn’t see that well. 🤣😂🤣

Royce Shook

1 year ago #2

#1
Joyce, medication interaction could be a major problem for seniors and could lead to falling. I am glad that you see your way to a life without falling.

That was an easy one for me--I stopped all pharmaceutical products. I am no fall risk now, and I was going blind--who knew?

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