Fitness Friday: Prevent Falls With These Exercises

10 Exercises to Help You Stay Upright

Falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults. But regardless of age, we’re all susceptible to losing our balance. Certain medications, improper shoes, previous injuries, and muscle and/or bone weakness all increase the likelihood of experiencing an unwanted fall. Common fall injuries are hip fractures, broken wrist, hand and arm and even traumatic brain injuries. No matter the sustained injury, falling can impact your independence, physical and mental well-being, and with every fall, there is a greater possibility of another. Though they commonly occur, you can easily prevent falls via simple long-term exercises. Maintaining strong leg, hip, and glute muscles as well as practicing stabilizing exercising can help keep falls from happening.

 

To avoid the risk of falling, use these simple fall prevention exercises as a guideline to strong, balanced muscles!

 

Bridges

A female fitness instructor demonstrates the finishing position of the yoga bridge pose

Lying face up on the ground, bend your knees to a 45 degree angle with feet flat on the floor. Gently push your hips up toward the sky and lower back down to the ground. Photo: Fit Stream

 

Rear Leg Lift

liberty_arabesque

Standing upright, face the back of the chair and hold for support. Keeping your right leg straight, push your leg backward while keeping the hips square to the front. Return to the start position and repeat using opposite leg. Photo: Prevention

 

Lateral Leg Lifts

pho_exercise_armchair-backward

Standing upright, hold onto a chair for support if needed. Keeping you right leg straight, lift it out to the side as far as you can without shifting your weight. Lower the leg to return to start position. Repeat on other side. Photo: iPosture

 

Squats

deep-squat2

Place an exercise ball on a wall and allow it to sit in the center of your back while standing upright. You can do this without the ball as well. With your feet about shoulder width apart, shift your feet about 3-6 inches further forward from your normal standing position to keep the pressure off the knees. Slowly bend at the knees until they form a 90 degree angle. Push back up to the start position. To work on stabilizing, simply hold at the bottom for 15 seconds or longer until returning to the start position. Photo: Men’s Health

 

Lunges

lunges-1

Standing upright, shift your body’s weight forward with your right leg landing in front of you. Bend each leg together and push back to start the position. Try this exercise on the opposite side. Lunges are a total upper leg and glute exercise. Photo: My Protein

 

High/Marching Knees

62c20_130524113709-7minhighknees-horizontal-gallery

Holding onto a chair for support, lift one leg into a 90 degree angle at hip height and lower to start. Switch to the other side. To improve balance, try holding the bent leg in the air for 15 seconds (30…45…60…) and remove your hands from the support of the chair.

 

Quadricep Extensions

leg-extension-exercise

Seated with legs bent at a 90 degree angle, slowly lift the right leg in front of your body until it is in line with your adjacent knee. Lower to the start position and repeat using the left leg. These simple exercises engage the quadricep muscles and can be done using weight or without. Photo: Healthwise

 

Hamstring Curls

h9991143

Lying flat on your stomach with arms softly rested on your elbows, bend your legs toward your glutes. Slowly lower back down to start. This exercise targets the hamstrings and glutes. Photo: Healthwise

 

Deadlifts

15-best-exercises-dumbbell-romanian-deadlift

Standing upright with feet about shoulder width apart and knees soft, bend at the hip, rolling your hands down your legs and keeping your back straight. Return to start. Using dumbbells will increase resistance and aid in maintaining the hamstring and glute muscles. Photo: Men’s Fitness

 

Calf raises

calf-raises-basic

Standing upright, simply lift up on your heels allowing your toes to hold your body’s weight at the top. This helps strengthen the calf and ankle muscles. Photo: Pop Sugar

 

 

Stay upright with these simple exercises!

 

– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC