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  • Writer's pictureRichard Waterworth

How strength training can stop falls | Stride Physio Kenilworth

As we age, the risk of falls and their associated consequences, such as fractures and injuries, increases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), falls are the second leading cause of accidental death worldwide. Therefore, it is important to take steps to prevent falls, and one way to do that is through strength training.

Strength training involves performing exercises that challenge your muscles to work against resistance, such as using weights or resistance bands. It can help improve muscle mass, strength, and power, all of which can help reduce the risk of falls.

Here are a few reasons why strength training can help prevent falls in the elderly:

  1. Improves balance and stability: One of the primary benefits of strength training is that it can help improve balance and stability. As we age, our balance naturally deteriorates, making us more susceptible to falls. However, strength training can help improve the strength of the muscles responsible for maintaining balance, such as the core, glutes, and legs.

  2. Increases muscle mass and strength: Another benefit of strength training is that it can help increase muscle mass and strength. This is important because stronger muscles are better able to support the body and help prevent falls. In fact, studies have shown that even a small increase in muscle mass and strength can significantly reduce the risk of falls.

  3. Improves bone density: Strength training can also help improve bone density, which is important for reducing the risk of fractures in the event of a fall. By challenging the bones with weight-bearing exercises, such as squats and lunges, the bones become stronger and more resistant to fractures.

  4. Enhances coordination: Strength training can also help enhance coordination, which is important for maintaining balance and preventing falls. When we lift weights or perform resistance exercises, we engage multiple muscle groups and require our brain to communicate with our muscles in a coordinated manner.

  5. Improves flexibility and mobility: Finally, strength training can help improve flexibility and mobility, which can help prevent falls by allowing individuals to move more easily and with greater control. By performing exercises that challenge the range of motion of the joints, such as lunges and squats, we can help maintain flexibility and mobility as we age.

To get started with strength training, it is important to work with a qualified fitness professional who can design a program that is safe and appropriate for your individual needs and fitness level. It is also important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and volume of your workouts over time.

In addition to strength training, there are other steps you can take to prevent falls, such as:

  • Removing hazards in the home, such as loose rugs and clutter

  • Installing grab bars in the bathroom and other areas where additional support may be needed

  • Wearing appropriate footwear with good traction

  • Having your vision checked regularly

  • Taking steps to improve your overall health and fitness, such as eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and managing chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.

In conclusion, falls can be a serious and potentially life-threatening problem for the elderly. However, by incorporating strength training and other falls prevention strategies into your lifestyle, you can help reduce your risk of falling and maintain your independence and quality of life for years to come.

If you think we can help you or a loved prevent and stop any future falls then please get in touch.

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