Today we’re going to answer a question that I frequently hear from my patients which is “Can exercise reduce my risk of falling?”
The answer to the question is “Yes.”
Exercise is the only intervention that reduces risk of falling as a single intervention.
This is especially important for older adults due to normal aging of the muscles, causing weakness due to loss of muscle mass and loss of muscle strength.
Now with that in mind, I recommend for all older adults to be screened for the most common inner ear condition called BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo before starting any new exercise program or balance training program to get the maximum benefit from that exercise program.
If you’re not sure what exercises are safe, or best for you considering your mental and surgical history, it is recommended for you to talk to your doctor and find out what exercise is safe for you.
Most likely your doctor will refer you to a physical therapist who can figure out an exercise program that’s appropriate for you to reduce your risk of falling, considering your medical and surgical history.
If you feel confident that exercising is safe for you, based on your health, then certainly you can look into what exercise programs are available in the community where you live, at a local fitness center, or at a senior center in your community.
Group classes that address at least two out of the four components of fitness are shown to reduce the risk of falling.
The four components of fitness include: strength, flexibility, endurance and balance.
I highly encourage older adults to exercise in a way that is safe and enjoyable for them because exercise is shown to reduce the risk of falling.
This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.