Moving Your Body is one of the best ways to prevent falls.
Moving your body will improve your balance and posture, strengthen your muscles and bones and improve your overall fitness and general well being. Three hours of strength and balance activities is recommended each week, however you can split this up into much shorter blocks of activity.
Build Your Balance
Balance is the ability to maintain a stable and controlled body position while we move over our base of support. Balance plays an important role in conducting daily activities such as walking, bending over to put shoes on, driving a car, or going grocery shopping.
Balance requires our body systems to work together to control movements. To stay balanced we need our brain to receive and respond to messages from our muscles, joints, skin, eyes and ears.
Complete the Move Your Body quiz to see if your balance is impacting your risk of having a fall.
Building your balance is one of the best way to avoid a fall. Your body needs to be able to take in information from your surroundings and process it very quickly so that your body can react in order to control your movements.
Balance can be improved by practising balance exercises regularly. There are many activities that will improve your balance, as well as improving your coordination and muscle strength.
In order to maintain safety whilst challenging your balance it is important to have a stable surface nearby in case you need something to hold onto. Also, if you have not challenged your balance in a long time or don’t feel confident doing balance challenging exercises contact a GP, Physiotherapist, or other health professional before starting balance exercises.
Activities that involve leaning forwards, backwards, and to the side such as Tai Chi, Lawn bowls, Dancing, and Prime Movers or Strength for Life can help to build your balance. Balance exercises that can be completed at home include standing on one leg, stepping over objects, walking heel to toe, or using the Stay On Your Feet® Build Your Balance Exercise Flyer to guide at-home exercises.
Strengthen Your Legs
It is important that we keep our bodies strong so that they can do everyday activities such as getting out of a chair, walking up and down stairs, or pushing the shopping trolley.
Muscles, bones and joints start to deteriorate as we get older. Maintaining strong muscles, bones and joints in your legs will help you to reduce your risk of falling and maintain your movement and flexibility.
Complete the Move Your Body quiz to see if your strength is impacting your risk of having a fall.
Doing physical activity will help to make your muscles and bones stronger and help you to stay strong, healthy and independent. Everyday movements such as gardening and cleaning can help to keep your muscles working and your body strong.
View our Strengthen Your Legs with Julie animation to learn about different ways you can strengthen your legs to prevent falls or complete our Move Your Body online learning module for more information.
When starting a new activity, it is best to start slow and not overdo it, so that your body gets used to the activity and you don't strain or injure yourself. If you are unsure, ask your GP, Physiotherapist, or other health professional for advice on suitable strength exercises for you.
Everyday movements and actions, like gardening and cleaning, can help you to keep your muscles working and your body strong. Exercises such as standing up from your chair without using your hands are also great ways to strengthen your legs.
Make your leg muscles and bones stronger by exercising and doing activities using light weights at home or in the gym. The Stay On Your Feet® Strengthen Your Legs Exercise Flyer can help guide your at-home exercises.
You might also like to try:
- Strength for Life (formally known as Living Longer Living Stronger)
- Prime Movers
Next find out how you can prevent falls by Improving Your Health.