As we age, it becomes much more challenging to maintain our balance and avoid falling. In fact, according to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older people. Fortunately, by making minor adjustments to your lifestyle, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling. Here are three ways to improve your balance and avoid a disastrous fall.
1. Incorporate Balance Exercises into Your Daily Routine
One of the best ways to help improve your balance is to exercise regularly. Specific exercises such as standing on one leg and walking heel-to-toe are low-impact activities that you can do each day to boost your balance. Then, once you feel comfortable with beginner balancing exercises, consider joinging a senior yoga class or exercise group to increase your lower limb stability and overall health.
2. Be Sure Your Shoes Fit Before Buying
One of the most common causes of falls is ill-fitting footwear. Wearing shoes that fit poorly greatly increases your risk of tripping, especially if you have mobility and balance issues. Before purchasing shoes, always test that they fit you well. You should also check them for proper flexibility. Flexibility is key to allowing for a full range of movement from heel to toe. A well-designed shoe shouldn't twist in the middle but should bend slightly in the toe area. Additionally, shoes with traction are better suited for those with balance concerns as they help reduce slipping.
If you're looking for high-quality, podiatrist-recommended footwear, we recommend visiting The Right Shoe! Their experts are well-equipped to help you find the best shoes to meet your needs.
3. Clear Clutter from High-Traffic Areas
Ensuring that high-traffic areas of your home are clear of clutter helps to reduce your chances of falling. Be proactive about identifying potential tripping hazards by walking through your space and determining what items could cause an issue. Common household tripping hazards are rugs, chords, and floor decorations. Removing potential tripping hazards and incorporating textured tape for steps or non-slip mats are simple things you can do to help prevent falls.
If your balance has been impaired lately, we recommend visiting a podiatrist to assess your ankle stability and provide expert advice. So give us a call at (717) 757-3537 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment.