For many, balance exercises are not a part of their daily activities. In fact, most people - including older adults - don’t exercise at all. But they should. You should. Your life could depend on it…
It really is this serious -- each year, over 2 million older adults in America find themselves in a hospital’s emergency room because of fall-related injuries.
It’s likely due to a simple fall that caused a complicated fracture of a hand, arm, shoulder, hip, or ankle.
Yet, fall prevention is not much on anyone’s mind, although it is very important for all older adults who experience physical changes or deal with health conditions. And medications that are used to treat these health conditions can make falls even more likely.
Each year, over 300,000 people are admitted to the hospital for broken hips, caused by falling. Hip fractures then often lead to disability and loss of independence.
So, why do balance exercises save lives? Listen to this…
A broken hip can make an extended hospital stay necessary. How extended…?
Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) - I have your attention now - is a serious complication for older hospitalized patients. Getting seriously ill in hospital is all too common.
Pneumonia is connected with not only a prolonged hospital stay and its resulting enormous economic costs, but also an increase in mortality.
According to the American Thoracic Society and Infectious Disease Society of America (2005), the associated mortality rate for hospital-acquired pneumonia is between 30% and 70%. Other indicators have it between 27% and 50%.
As if that weren’t bad enough, other serious risk factors for hospitalized seniors include staph infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), malnutrition, and impaired consciousness.
Whatever the numbers and risk factors - it is absolutely scary to think that you can die as a result from a simple hip fracture.
Balance exercises could help prevent these falls and avoid disability - or worse.
Here’s the good news…
You can do balance exercises anytime, anywhere, and as often as you like.
If you haven’t done much exercise for a while, try to do your exercises twice a week, and gradually increase the frequency.
Just make sure you get your doctor’s all-clear beforehand.
By the way, your doctor can help you with one important fall-preventing measure - by reviewing your medications.
You can also do your balance training in conjunction with lower-body strength exercises. Do the strength training two or more days a week, but not two days in a row.
Whatever you do, don’t let the fear of falling rule your senior life.
Balance exercises are a vital component of your overall health, and they should be fun to do.
Double your fun by finding a partner who will do the sessions with you - there are lots of exercises that require a second person for steadiness.
Find a partner who will support and encourage you when you lack enthusiasm or become discouraged. Such a partner is truly a great friend.
(Soon you’ll find great exercise examples on this site. They’re easy and FUN to do. Please, check back often. Thank you)
In the event that you don’t have a partner or friend available, I encourage you to contact me directly for guidance and support.
I am absolutely passionate about helping my peers to achieve the health and fitness that will enable them to enjoy life as an older adult for many years to come.
This website’s name is Senior>Health>SUCCESS for good reason.
Balance exercises are a wonderful first step toward that success.
Let’s do it!
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