Want to Prevent Falls? Exercise!

Falling is a major fear about growing older – and it’s a leading cause of injury and death among mature adults. It’s also a common problem for people who don’t yet consider themselves “old.”
But it is not inevitable.
The US Preventive Services Task Force couldn’t be clearer: Exercise is the best defense against falling. Merely staying active helps, but exercising more than three hours a week lowers fall risk by 39 percent.
Movement includes anything you do consistently, even walking or cleaning house. But you also need to add resistance training, which includes weightlifting and resistance bands. The goal isn’t to get big muscles. It’s to keep you strong enough to prevent falling.
We all lose muscle later in life. Having less strength makes it hard to catch yourself when you trip (which everyone does, regardless of age). And muscle protects bones, so without it, we are vulnerable to breaks.
  • Strengthen your legs. Even if you’re only in your 50s or 60s.
  • Practice balancing. It’s never too early.
  • Exercise helps prevent and treat Type 2 diabetes, which can cause nerve loss and damage in the feet.
  • Every time you exercise, you’re improving your body’s ability to move blood to extremities. And you’re helping your brain’s ability to process where you are in relation to other objects as you move.
  • Our back, hip, and abdominal muscles are collectively called the core. We need it strong for all kinds of reasons. Balance is at the top of them.