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Find an Activity you Love to Prevent Falls

There are plenty of enjoyable ways you can stay active and prevent slips, trips and falls by moving your body. The secret to committing to making your body stronger and balance better is finding an activity you genuinely love to do. This way, you stay motivated to keep active, have fun, and stay connected within the community.

Sports such as dancing, lawn bowls, swimming, tennis and golf have many healthy ageing benefits, including helping participants avoid falls. You can find an exercise class near you on the Stay On Your Feet® e-Directory, or contact a local sports club like the ones below.

Dancing

Ballroom dancing often involves standing on one leg, moving the body in multiple positions and counter-balance, which develops balance, posture and stability. Dancing involves supporting another person’s weight, changing direction, and quick movements, like jumping, pushing and pulling, which require strength in the core and good body awareness. Learning choreography also requires, and builds, flexibility, agility and coordination – which are great for falls prevention.

Find a class or a social dance in Perth or regional WA visit www.perthballroomdancing.com

Lawn Bowls

Lawn bowls is a robust social sport that helps you stay connected with friends, alongside building your balance. Lawn bowls involve repetitive movements and prolonged standing, which helps develop muscular endurance. The sport also requires you to transfer your weight between your feet, balance your body, and bend down to roll the bowl or pick it up – all great for challenging your balance.

To find a bowls club near you visit www.gottalovethebowlo.com.au

Swimming

Swimming

Swimming requires coordination of the upper and lower body to ensure swimming strokes to complete in good form, as well as timing for breathing. Flexibility in the muscles and joints aids the range of movement necessary to complete swimming strokes. Swimming also requires upper arm, core and leg strength to guide the swimmer through the water – essential muscle groups that maintain your balance while on your feet.

To learn how to swim, speak to your local council about classes, or to join an adult’s recreational swimming club contact Masters Swimming WA on 9328 9469 or visit www.mswa.asn.au/Clubs/ Club-Contacts

Tennis

Tennis

Playing tennis requires you to take off and land on one foot, counter-balance and control your body, all of which challenge your balance. Tennis keeps the core, arms and lower body strong, so you can hit the ball more efficiently while maintaining your balance. Tennis also supports coordination of the hands and eyes and the lower and upper body to hit the ball with accuracy and speed.

To get involved with tennis, visit www.tennis.com.au/wa or speak to your local council to find a public court near you.

Golf

Playing golf is a great, relaxed way to stay active. Golf uses hand-eye coordination and synchronization of the lower and upper body by shifting body weight and rotating the trunk through the swing. Strength around the core, hips, pelvis and lower back are essential for an effective swing; as well as flexibility in the mid-section, shoulders and hips.

To find a golf club or classes near you visit www.golfwa.org.au/cms/ get-started/welcome-to-golf

Want to prevent falls but not sure where to start?

Call us today on 1300 303 540 to order your FREE Move Your Body information pack.

Everyday Use of Strength and Balance

Everyday activities can help you move your body to strong. Common everyday tasks can help maintain your mobility while also challenging your strength and balance. Check out the suggestions below for activities that can improve your strength and balance. As a reminder, when starting a new activity, it is important to listen to your body and not overdo it to prevent injuries.

Gardening

Gardening is a great activity for incidental exercise, whether it’s digging, planting, or carrying water. These activities give all major muscle groups a good workout – from your legs, glutes, arms, stomach and back. Strengthening these muscle groups helps you to avoid falls, as they all work together to keep you balanced and on your feet.

While you’re working, you will also be absorbing vitamin D from the sunlight, which is important for bone health, but ensure you are wearing appropriate sunscreen and clothing. There is also the sense of accomplishment you’ll enjoy from your beautiful garden!

Cleaning

Incidental activities like vacuuming or hanging laundry are great ways to get your body moving. You can increase the intensity of your work by putting up-tempo music on while you clean. This will help you speed up the rate of your activity, and you can always bust a move (safely!) while you clean. Stretching while dusting or squatting to put items away are great ways to incorporate full body exercises.

Like gardening, cleaning is a full body work out – so be careful to not overdo it, and always be safe with your movements.

Sit to Standing

Getting in and out of seating can be difficult without good balance. Going from standing to sitting (or vice versa) is a good activity to challenge your strength. It is a good idea to practice getting up from your regular armchair without using your hands for stability – make sure to engage your core and leg muscles. Being confident in getting up from a chair will assist in manoeuvring challenging tasks like getting in and out of the car, or off the toilet.

It’s important to start slow and ask for assistance if you need to.

Walking

Just walking over changing flooring – from carpet or floorboards to outdoor bricks and asphalt – can be a challenge for your balance. Having good leg strength and balance can help you adjust to differences in steps, slopes and ground inconsistencies. From checking the letterbox to walking your dog, to simply moving from one room to another, walking well is an important skill to maintain as you age.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are losing confidence in walking, as something as simple as a walking aid can keep you independent longer.

Need to work on your strength and balance to prevent falls?

Use our free strength and balance exercise flyers here to get started, or find a challenge on the Stay On Your Feet® e-Directory! You can also call us today on 1300 303 540 to order your FREE Move Your Body information pack.

Falls Prevention Benefits of Moving Every day

As we age, it’s important we keep our bodies active and strong. There are many reasons to move your body every day. Just 30 minutes of activity each day will pay off with boosted energy, fitness, independence, heart health, as well as a happy mind and mood.

Older Couple Jogging in Autumnal Park

Fitness and Strength for Falls Prevention

Bursts of activity increase your heartrate and helps to maintain physical strength. A strong heart and body will not only support living independently, but also help you enjoy your years.

Australian research shows building muscular strength decreases the risk of a fall. Maintaining your physical fitness every day can assist in maintaining your weight, improving muscle strength, balancing your blood pressure, alongside building or maintaining optimal bone density. A strong body is important at every age to keep doing the things you enjoy.

You can strengthen your legs with everyday activities like cleaning and gardening. You could also try group exercise classes, or a home based program. See our free strength and balance exercise flyers here.

Older People Sitting Man Yoga Smile

Balance and Falls Prevention

Balance is vital in preventing falls as we age. Good balance can be summarised as the ability to adapt to a change in movement in a smooth and efficient way – in other words, without having a slip, trip or fall!

Staying active and doing exercises that strengthen your legs and challenge your balance daily will help you reduce the impact of changes in your balance over time. Balance exercises should be progressed gradually and become more difficult as your balance improves.

Try activities such as tai chi or lawn bowls which involve leaning forwards, backwards or to the side. Find a class to challenge yourself on the Stay On Your Feet® e-Directory here, or speak to your doctor or fitness professional about what exercises are right for you.

Call us today on 1300 303 540 to order your FREE Move Your Body information pack to get started.

Older Couple Dance in Kitchen

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

There are many mental benefits to keeping active every day. Exercise acts as a natural stress reliever, as it releases endorphins to reduce sadness, depression or anxiety. This can also assist you in maintaining a quality sleep schedule, meaning you sleep more deeply and wake more refreshed.

Staying active and strong can also help you feel more confident in doing everyday activities too. By dedicating just 30 minutes a day to moving your body, you can be confident in what your body can achieve and what you can handle.

You can start moving your body each day just by gardening or walking the dog. If you’re ready, you can attend group fitness classes like Living Longer Living Stronger – but make sure you ask your physiotherapist, GP or local recreation centre for advice first.

Move Your Body Launched!

Yesterday, 4 September 2019, we launched the Move Your Body campaign, in collaboration with the City of Melville, at LeisureFit Melville with Tai Chi and Active Light exercise classes.

 
The Move Your Body campaign focuses on the importance of strong legs and good balance for staying independent and helping to prevent falls as we age.

As we age, our risk for a fall increases due to physical changes in our body. With 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 having a fall each year, it’s important to know the role good balance and strength have in healthy ageing.

Participants had a great time trying out different exercises and getting to know one another, embracing health and active ageing.


Want to start moving your body to prevent falls? Call us on 1300 30 35 40 to order your FREE information pack to get started!

Find out more about the Stay On Your Feet® program and how to prevent falls at www.stayonyourfeet.com.au

Stay On Your Feet® is provided by Injury Matters and funded by the Western Australian Department of Health.

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Government of Western Australia Department of Health Injury Matters