Did you know that November 2-8 is Fall Prevention Week? There’s a great new resource available to prevent falls in B.C. called Finding Balance. They focus on four important ways to prevent falls:
- Keep your body active.
- Have your eyes checked by an optometrist once a year.
- Have your doctor or pharmacist review your medications.
- Make your home safer.
We wanted to spend some time looking at their first recommendation!
Bodies are made to move!
Every older adult wants to live an active and independent life. Regular physical activity improves balance, increases strength and prevents falls. While we all age, get a little wrinkly, and have hair that turns grey (for most of us, anyways), poor balance, weak muscles and falls are not a normal part of aging. As we age, let’s follow the advice of poet Dylan Thomas and “not go gentle into that good night.”
So, where to start?
Aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week. That’s just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week!
Take charge of your body and be active to stay strong and maintain your mobility long into the golden years. Including movement in your day-to-day activities and exercising for strength, balance and coordination improves your overall health and quality of life: maintain your independence, stay active in your community, and avoid slips, trips and broken hips!
It’s never too late to get active and involved!
Start where you are today and build more activity into your daily routine bit-by-bit, working your way up to 150 minutes per week.
Being active can be fun! Try all kinds of activities like strength and balance exercises, dancing, lifting light weights, tai chi and yoga! Exercise can also include simple things like going for a walk, raking leaves, shovelling snow, bringing in firewood, or climbing the stairs. Be creative and enjoy what you choose to do!
Always make sure that you keep activity within your own personal limits and take measures to avoid injury. It is always a good idea to consult your health care provider before starting any new exercise program or increasing your level of physical activity significantly.
About Shellie O'Brien
Shellie is an injury prevention coordinator with Northern Health’s population health team with a passion for health and wellness. She enjoys the outdoors, animals, recreational dogsledding, reading, and healthy living. When not at work, she can be found on her rural property with her family of happy, healthy huskies.