If you’re alive on this planet, you know that doctors always recommend regular exercise for optimal health. Exercise improves heart function, keeps unwanted pounds off, wards off disease, and even calms symptoms of depression and anxiety. But if you’re a senior citizen, there’s another benefit of exercise you may not have thought of:
Regular exercise can help prevent dangerous falls.
If you’re someone who exercises already – great. You’re better off than the 30-40% of people over 65 and 50% of people aged 80 and up who take a fall every year. If you don’t exercise, starting an exercise program may seem daunting. But, it doesn’t have to be.
Here are five ways to get motivated to strengthen the muscles that help you sit, stand, and walk confidently without dangerous hesitations or wobbles:
- First things first – fix your foot or ankle pain: Exercise may be difficult, painful, or downright impossible if it causes pain. Let our board-certified podiatrist, Jon M. Sherman, treat your toe arthritis, nerve pain, or plantar fasciitis with state-of-the-art treatments and therapies, including custom orthotic inserts and targeted laser therapy. Dr. Sherman can also perform a fall prevention risk assessment.
- Do something you like: Walking is easy and requires no special equipment except a great pair of shoes. If walking isn’t appealing, there’s swimming, tai chi, and yoga.
- Start slowly: You risk injuring yourself if you exercise long and hard from the get-go.
- Exercise with a friend: An exercise partner can be very helpful to keep you motivated.
- Take advantage of Montgomery County resources: Call your local senior center or YMCA to inquire about balance and exercise classes. Many facilities offer transportation to and from, making it easier to keep exercising.
Commit to exercise this Falls Prevention Awareness Month! For a foot exam or personalized fall prevention assessment, contact Kentlands Foot & Ankle Center in Gaithersburg at (301) 825-9697 or request an appointment with Dr. Sherman online.
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