Lifestyle

Walk each day and win back your good health

To prevent falls you should keep fit or get moving.
To prevent falls you should keep fit or get moving.

TO FALL or not to fall? It's not really a hard question to answer.

I know I want to stay upright for as many years as I can.

There is a funny slogan going around for aging - "I've finally got my head together and now my body is falling apart"- but it doesn't have to be that way even if statistics show the risk of falling escalates around 65 years of age.

The cause of the problem is a lack of exercise and poor diet in earlier years combined with the process of aging and with the environments in which we live.

Falls prevention should start as young as 40. So some of you reading this and thinking about your parents really need to take heed and think about yourselves.

 

Causes of falling

Personal

  • Deteriorating health
  • Mobility and strength associated with aging
  • Lack of exercise leading to impaired balance
  • Gait
  • Impaired visual acuity
  • Inappropriate footwear

Environmental

  • People traffic
  • Unfamiliar environment
  • Uneven, loose or slippery floors

 

The solutions

The strongest evidence available for countermeasures to date might be summarised as:

  • Increasing muscle strength, flexibility and bone density
  • Improving balance and gait

Although there are a number of areas that we are categorised in as we age (independent living, supported care and acute care), I am focusing on the independent living community for this article.

Start today, not after Christmas, to increase the strength and endurance in your legs, because if they give way the only way you will be going is down.

 

Movement opportunities

Walking

  • In the house, veranda or yard
  • Up and down the street
  • Around some parks, the Jetty and harbour area
  • With a friend or solo

 

When you are no longer being challenged, increase the distance or the intensity by:

  • Finding a gentle hill to walk up
  • Walking faster, and/or
  • Increase the distance
  • Pick up a dancing class or two
  • Attend classes specifically for your age group at reputable health clubs

 

Increase your leg strength

As I have said in previous articles, you lose 10% of muscle up to 55 then 40% more after that.

Try some:

  • Step ups
  • Seated squats

 

Don't ignore your balance

Try standing on one leg (hold on to support if needed) and as your balance improves, release your death grip, and move to less assistance.

We all want to continue to complete our daily chores and still feel energetic enough to enjoy life, to remain active.

So keep fit or get moving.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  exercise, health, lifestyle, muscles




Don't call us killers: RSPCA CEO

RSPCA CEO Mark Townend.

Criticism of the service and its rates of euthanasia

Girlfriend tells court of horrific stabbing murder

IN COURT: The scene of a fatal stabbing on Cobalt St Carole Park in April last year. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

Woman recounts night of horrific stabbing in Pye murder

Here's how $10,000 gets you 23 cars and a boat

A decent crowd turned out for the Ipswich City Council public auction of abandoned vehicles.

Two bidders clean up as old bombs set for export market

Latest deals and offers

Johnny Depp 'deeply respects' Amber Heard

Celebrity

Amber Heard gives away $7 million settlement to charity

The true cost of 60 Minutes debacle revealed

It's a bill that would make even a silk tied barrister blush

Kirk Douglas is defiant, fierce and still standing

VETERAN ACTOR: Kirk Douglas has had a long and varied career.

Kirk Douglas has out-lived almost all his contemporaries

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

It's getting very Rude over at the Racehorse

FUNNY: Rodney Rude will be at the Racehorse Hotel.

Australia's top funny man is back

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.