We have all had a fall at some stage but as we get older the risks of falling become greater. We lose physical strength and bone density, our proprioceptive senses are not as sharp and this alarmingly, begins around age 25!!
There are many reasons for this. To maintain our balance there are 3 body systems that give us information:
· Vestibular (inner ear)
· Somatosensory (feedback from our joints and their position).
All these systems are subject to the aging process and require more mental focus and effort.
So deterioration of eyesight with susceptibility to glare and poor depth perception can lead to misjudging a step.
Swollen joints and poor flexibility, arthritis, distorted feet and poorly fitted shoes can also contribute to a fall.
Dizziness and inner-ear problems sometimes due to side effects of medications can also affect balance.
So, all these problems can cause a loss of confidence and less inclination to maintain activity levels.
The good news is that it is possible to slow the deterioration by improving strength and practicing balance.
By being active every day and building up to 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week – including some resistance exercises and stability work – we can decrease the risk of falls and its impact.
So lets get exercising regularly, it’s never too late to start!!!