Falls could be devastating for anyone but especially for seniors, leaving them to recuperate for months on end in a hospital. Seniors are also more likely to be diagnosed with osteoporosis which increases the risk of breaking a hip or joint or wrist, because they are not physically stable. In addition to using walking aids, it then becomes important that seniors do strength training to be more comfortable with controlling their body and reducing their risk of falling.
Research studies on seniors who perform resistance exercise 3 or more times a week show:
- Better functional mobility, balance and prevention of falls
- increased muscle mass and strength
- Improved walking speed, toe clearance (ie not catching the toe of a shoe on flooring or side-walks) and number of strides per minute
- Increases activities of daily living
- Improves sense of quality of living (QOL)
- You feel more energetic
Exercise, including walking, will also help manage heart disease, diabetes, depression and osteoporosis. Heart disease and diabetes are risk factors for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Be sure to get advice from a fitness professional, such as a Personal Trainer, to be sure you undertake an exercise program safely and perform the exercises correctly.
Other forms of exercise that can help improve strength include walking, yoga, Pilates and water aerobics.