Yes. In fact, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), falls are now considered “the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal, trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults”.
Now that we’ve established that, what can be done? It turns out, quite a lot. In fact, in a short period of time, with appropriate guided exercise, anyone can improve their balance, reduce their fall risk and likely stave off falling for many years. Not to mention, greatly reduce their odds of serious injury should they fall.
As a certified personal trainer in a retirement area of Baja, the age range for most of my clients is 70 to 90. So, it’s not surprising that I spend a lot of my time helping clients improve their balance and reduce their risk of falling. It’s a rewarding age group to work with; there is usually great room for improvement, so the rewards are generally immediate, tangible and wonderfully empowering.
Actually, my personal training practice has been largely “senior focused” since 2001, when my mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. She refused to passively accept her “fate” and let the Parkinson’s take her without a fight. So, we exercised and trained several days a week, primarily strength and balance training and gentle yoga.
And it really helped. She kept the Parkinson’s at bay for many years. And she got to live her later years with greater mobility and independence, which is what we all want, isn’t it?
Thankfully not all of us will get Parkinson’s, but all of us must eventually deal with the challenges of aging and falling.
I’ve learned quite a bit over the years from all my elderly clients. Almost all of them have one or more aging issues. Some of them still walk well but have noticed their balance declining. Some of them have heart conditions. Some are in wheelchairs or use walkers. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is to work what you have and move what you can.
It’s worth repeating, ANYONE can get stronger and improve their balance, regardless of their age or condition.
Generally, my new clients notice a significant improvement in their balance and stability with a few 30 minute sessions a week, over a matter of weeks. And you can too.
In addition, most also gain an assortment of other health benefits - an increase in their mobility and strength, better sleep, more lucidity, improved bone density, more energy and vitality and an enhanced sense of well-being.
Why not make a commitment to your health and your future and invest in a qualified, professional trainer? With the proper training and some ongoing practice at home, you can regain your balance and reduce your fall risk. And you can add years of quality life for yourself.
Yes. We will all fall one day. It’s inevitable. That is our fate. But it doesn’t have to be today… or tomorrow… or even for many years!
In other words, you have a choice in this. You can choose to fight back!
Kevin McManus is co-owner of La Mision Fitness and Yoga and a NASM Certified Personal Trainer specializing in Senior Training, Corrective Exercise and Balance and Stability. For a FREE Fall Risk Assessment and/or information regarding training with Kevin, you can call or message him below: