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Older Adults Prevent Falls with Special Training  

August 2013

After vacationing more than usual this past year, I'm ready to settle down and get back to my regular work schedule. I'm excited about offering a new service to my senior citizen clients: Fall Prevention Training.

Have you ever slipped on the ice with a near fall? Momentarily you lost your balance, and instead of completing the fall, your automatic neuromuscular fall prevention system activated, making it possible for you to regain your balance to prevent the fall and possible injury? It happened to me last winter, and I was pleasantly surprised, and also grateful that my core-stabilization and balance was strong enough to prevent the fall and perhaps serious injury.

It got me thinking about a few of my older clients who are at risk for falling, and a few who have suffered serious injury from a fall, and what I could do to possibly help. It provided the motivation for me to earn two certifications in personal training from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) and Senior Fitness Specialist (SFS) catering to older adults, and specifically targeting fall prevention training.

The ability to reduce force at the right joint, at the right time, and in the right plane of motion requires optimum levels of balance and neuromuscular efficiency; In other words, it's what is required to automatically regain your balance in the middle of losing it. Without exposure to balance training, inactive older adults are at risk for falls and injury. Fall prevention training helps prevent lower extremity injuries, reduce the rate of ankle sprains and other lower extremity injuries.

My Goal is to enhance the overall health and functional ability of older adults by improving their core stability and balance to prevent falls.

In This Issue
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Train for Fall Prevention?
How it Works?
Did You Know...

Frequently Asked Questions:

 
  1. Why are falls so dangerous for seniors? One-third of adults over 65 experience an accidental fall each year and approximately 25% of them die within a year of sustaining a hip injury from a fall.        

  2. Who is at most risk of falling? Older inactive adults, who have lived a sedentary lifestyle, gained excess weight, and lost muscle tone.

  3. What is the best way to prevent falling? The easiest and most effective thing an older unfit person can do to prevent falls is to improve their overall fitness, focusing on bolstering their stabilization and balance with specialized training.

Core Stabilization
Why Train for Fall Prevention?

 
Research studies conducted in older adult communities and nursing homes found that exercise, including specific core-stabilization training, can reduce the risk of falling by improving physical functioning.

Few adults have a strong enough core required to operate with maximum efficiency. Proprioception (a sense of subconscious perception of the movements and position of the body, especially its limbs) diminishes with aging primarily at the foot and ankle, having implications for loss of balance, mobility, and risk for falls.

Older adults experience physiological changes and degeneration of the neuromuscular (fall prevention) system that can lead to loss of coordination resulting in falls or injury. The senior's slower response speed and ability to process information, in addition to a weak core, are fundamental problems causing inefficient movement leading to predictable patterns of injury.

Sixty-six percent of senior citizens fall sometime during their golden years, and some die from their subsequent immobile lifestyle. Those who recover develop a fear of falling again that greatly limits their physical and social activities, and their general quality of life is drastically diminished. You can prevent that happening to you or your loved ones.

    
 

 

Balance Assessment
How it Works

When our bodies are placed in unstable environments, a physically fit person subconsciously contracts the right muscles at the right time to maintain balance and prevent falling, and possible serious injury.

Specific core-stabilization, balance, and strength training can prevent falls and injuries, subsequently improving quality of life. Specific core exercise training can also assist in chronic pain management.

Balance-strength exercises improves our core-stabilization and automatic balance system that could make the difference in saving us from a fall and serious injury in the event of a sudden perturbation (disturbance of motion, equilibrium) like slipping on an icy sidewalk in a few months.

The above information is from National Academy of Sports Medicine's Senior Fitness Specialist Certification Program.   


Did You Know...Mayo Clinic says,
...Balance exercises can help you maintain your balance and confidence, at any age, and is especially important if you are an older adult because they can help you prevent falls and maintain your independence.
 

Special Offer Through August

 

Complimentary 1/2 hour evaluation to determine your functional ability and overall risk of falls, performed in your home or office, or my Eden Prairie office.

This offer can be shared with a friend.




   

 

 

   

 

  

Equilibrium is a state of balance between opposing forces or actions, or an adjustment between opposing or divergent influences or elements.

Merriam-Webster dictionary


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Call me with referrals to nursing homes, care facilities, adult communities, etc. to introduce fall prevention training.
 

Therapeutic Bodyworks Tailored To Your Specific Needs   
 952-807-2948

 


12990 Valley View Road
Eden Prairie, MN  55344
In Vault Fitness Center

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