It happens to the young, the old, the coordinated, the uncoordinated, Academy award winners, performers and elite athletes - falling. While falling is not entirely preventable, there are steps you can take to reduce falling incidents and keep yourself safe.
Falling occurs for a variety of reasons. Medication, eyesight issues and poor lighting all contribute to falling. See your doctor if you feel that your medication or eyesight is interfering with your sense of balance. Choose appropriate footwear for exercise or heavy walking.
Uneven surfaces can cause a loss of balance. Without core training and strength, the body is much more prone to falling. Building a strong core is critical for posture and balance. Try the following exercises to test and challenge your balance.
Single Leg Balance – Using a wall or railing for support if needed, practice standing on one leg. Keep your weight in your heel with a slight bend in the knee. Spread your toes out to give yourself as wide a base as possible. Squeeze your abdominal muscles to engage the core. Remember to practice on both legs.
Single Leg Balance with Towel – Fold a towel multiple times to create an unstable surface. More folds will make this exercise more challenging while fewer folds will make it easier. Repeat the Single Leg Balance while standing on the towel. Follow the same physical cues. Again, remember to practice on both legs.
Single Leg Balance with Closed Eyes – Once you’re in position with your single leg balance, close your eyes. A fairly simple exercise becomes much more difficult without eyesight. Try this on both feet. Once you’ve mastered this, work on the single leg balance using a towel for added instability.
Stair Climbing – Have you ever noticed how you automatically reach for the handrail when climbing stairs? Practice climbing stairs without using the handrail. Make sure to place each foot entirely on the step. Again, keep the weight in the heels, engage the abdominal muscles and lean slightly forward.
The experienced therapists at Cross Bay Physical Therapy in Howard Beach are experts in fall prevention. If you need core strength or therapeutic exercises, the therapists at Cross Bay can design a program to increase your sense of balance and proficiency with compound exercises.
By Benjamin Bieber