For older adults, the risk of falling is very real. Globally, falls are the second leading cause of death from unintentional injury. The good news is that there are things you can do to actively reduce your risk of falling and prevent injuries from happening. Incorporating exercises into your daily routine that involve some form of resistance training can help build flexibility. Maintaining foot health is also important, as older adults experience changes in muscle strength that can increase their risk of falling.
Regular exercise at least 3 times per week for 12 months can lower the risk of falls and reduce the number of falls that lead to injury. Tai chi, resistance training and exercises aimed at improving flexibility, such as yoga, are beneficial to maintaining balance and strength.
Studies have shown that combining exercise with other strategies can reduce your risk of falling. This might involve assessing your foot health, reviewing your medications with your healthcare professional, checking your vision, and modifying your living environment to reduce tripping hazards.
It is important to remember that falling should not be considered inevitable, but there are many things you can do to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground. Speak with your healthcare provider, and consider your circumstances, when deciding which strategy is best for you.