The risk of falling increases with age and is greater for women than men. Annually, falls are reported by one-third of all people over the age of 65. Two-thirds of those who fall will do so again within six months. Falls are the leading cause of death from injury among people 65 and older.
One reason seniors fall is due to not lifting the feet when stepping. Failing to lift your feet when stepping can easily result in a trip and fall.
Therefore it is important to perform exercises that improve balance and coordination to reduce falls and fractures. Osteoporosis Canada recommends older adults perform 10 – 20 minutes per day of balance training. Balance training can be simple things added into your daily routine like standing in one spot holding a posture, shifting weight between heels and toes while standing, or standing on one leg.
In our class, we incorporate balance training it our weight-bearing and strength training exercises on a regular basis. When we work on lunges, Bulgarian split squats, and our pistol squat progressions, we are challenging our balance as we increase our strength. More specific balance training is also often incorporated into part of our warm up programming when we work with the agility ladder and mini hurdles, and obstacles like cones and boxes.