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Leg Strength Key to Long and Healthy Life

Inactive adults and those who have weak or frail legs can start to strengthen their legs to improve daily function thanks to some important advice from WA’s leading falls prevention experts.

The “Strengthen Your Legs” campaign from Stay On Your Feet®, which is delivered by the Injury Control Council of WA, aims to prevent slips, trips and falls in older adults to allow them to live independently in the community for longer.

Active Craigie couple, Diane Costello and Will Van Der Marke, were surprised to learn about the impact that strengthening exercises could have on their overall health and wellbeing.

“We are both active and healthy and simply adding simple strength exercises has been good for our balance and muscle definition”, says Diane.

“I started with a few exercises, and I was surprised how quickly I progressed with consistency”.

“Strong legs are one of the keys to keeping you healthy and independent for longer,” according to Injury Prevention Manager, Rachel Meade.

For health and community workers who are helping older adults to stay healthy and independent for longer, the campaign offers information and services which describe simple and low cost exercises which can strengthen leg muscles.

Ms Meade says it is not always necessary to enrol in classes or visit a physiotherapist to find out ways of improving muscle strength.
Adults can receive strengthening exercise flyers to allow them to complete a series of simple exercises in the comfort of their home to save on time and money.

“Leg strength does not have to be about aerobic activity”, says Ms Meade.

For adults who are inactive or frail, strengthening exercises are most important to increase muscle strength because it can improve everyday function and quality of life.

The campaign will also benefit adults who are already active and understand the importance of moving their body.

The advice is to simply add strengthening and balance exercises into their regular physical activity and to make these exercises progressively challenging.

The team at Stay On Your Feet® is offering free strengthening exercise flyers and other tips to prevent slips, trips and falls to health professionals and community members. For more information please call 1300 30 35 40 or visit www.stayonyourfeet.com.au.

Alternatively, ask a physiotherapist, leisure centre fitness instructor, tai chi instructor or GP for some strengthening and balance exercises that might suit you.

“Good health and strong legs are important for everyone!,” says Diane and Will. “Strong legs can give you confidence and reduce the fear of falling”.

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

Find out more
Government of Western Australia Department of Health Injury Matters