Let San Diego Oasis help you stay on your feet!
Falling is a serious risk for adults 65 and older. In fact, more than one out of four older adults falls each year and falling once doubles your chances of falling again, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
People who are injured as a result of a fall can face heavy financial costs, chronic pain, reduced mobility and independence, and a fear of falling again that limits their ability to enjoy life. The good news is that there are PROVEN things you can do to prevent falls: talking to your doctor about modifying medications that make you dizzy or sleepy, getting your eyes checked regularly and making your home safer (e.g., getting rid of trip hazards) are all important steps to improve your ability to stay on your feet. But there is more.
“Exercising regularly is the most beneficial thing you can do to help prevent falls,” says Russell Rowe, a certified personal trainer who has worked with older adults for over 21 years and teaches Better Balance: Free From Falls at San Diego Oasis.
The one-hour falls prevention class begins with a light warm-up followed by 40 minutes devoted to balance training to improve your proprioceptive and vestibular systems, both critical for balance. Your balance is challenged slowly and progressively. If the basic balance exercise being done is not challenging enough, you can move an arm, turn or tilt your head, close your eyes, stand on a balance pad (cushiony foam), or even do some of those things in combination. The last 15 minutes of the class is devoted to strengthening and stretching your legs. Participants are provided with a list of exercises they can to do at home and a falls prevention checklist for the home.
For additional questions about Better Balance classes, email Russell Rowe or call (619) 347-5440.
Watch your step!
When Alice McHugh fell, breaking a bone in her foot, she was just going about her daily routine. She’s on the mend now, but more committed than ever to get back to teaching Oasis falls prevention classes. Watch her story!
Balance Through Motion
Just as a gyroscope maintains equilibrium through motion, we also maintain our balance through motion. However, as we age, our equilibrium changes, so our risk of falling increases. Muscle mass can decrease, causing a loss of strength, and joints can become stiff, causing a lack of mobility and flexibility, thus reducing range of motion.
Slipping into a sedentary lifestyle can result in overall atrophy of the body and mind, thereby increasing the risk of falling.
Reasonable physical activity, appropriate to our fitness level, can help us achieve optimal physical and mental health benefits: improved breathing, circulation, posture, coordination and balance.
From tennis to t’ai chi, yoga to zumba, walking, hiking, bicycling, swimming, or dancing, choosing a variety of movement activities that we enjoy, and starting gradually, will keep us interested and engaged. Joining a class or inviting someone to join us can help us stay on track with our commitment to taking good care of ourselves. Balance through motion is a pleasant and effective way of relaxing, relieving stress, developing mental acuity, and of building and maintaining robust health, vitality and quality of life.
– Katherine Fleming, M.A.
*San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force’s brochure, You CAN Prevent Falls! A Guide to Preventing Falls
Standing Strong is San Diego Oasis
For maintaining falls prevention, maintaining your balance is half the battle! Find ways to strengthen your core and maintain your equilibrium with classes that focus on mindfulness and staying in the moment. These types of classes will give you confidence to go about your daily activities safely.
It’s important to remember that staying active is one of the most important things you can do to prevent falls. While there are a number of classes that are designed to specifically address falls prevention, taking general fitness classes will help you strengthen your core and ability to bounce back if you take a fall. Find a class that you like and keep moving!