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Can Exercise Prevent Falls?

Falls. They are the fear of many older adults. They can range from harmless stumbles to severe accidents, the effects of which can take years to heal. One of the best methods of avoiding falls might be the proactive use of exercise. Usually thought of for sculpting the body and improving cardiovascular conditioning, exercise can also be very effective in the prevention of injuries, including falls.

Regular exercise will improve strength, muscle tone and balance, all of which are essential to avoid falls. In addition to exercise, checking your vision and hearing regularly is also critical to fall prevention.

One of the current trends in exercise is use of the kettle bell, one of the oldest free weights in history. The kettle bell challenges users because of its unique shape and method of use. Kettle bells are swung away from the user, which:

  • Build Core Muscles
  • Promotes Better Balance and Body Control

Performing exercises that involve a range of motion and the isolation of different movements can also help lessen the risk of falling.  Studies have also shown that Tai Chi (which features slow, controlled weight-bearing movements) has been very effective.

Most effective fall-prevention programs offered to seniors have reduced falls by 30-50%.  Before beginning any fitness regimen, make sure you are phyiscally able to perform an exercise routine.  Discuss your situation with your physician, and ask about specific exercises to prevent falls.

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