One of the most important ways for seniors to enjoy good health as they age is to have good balance. If they don’t maintain good balance, they may be prone to falls leading to major causes of injuries and related health issues.
One out of three adults aged 65 and over falls every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also cites falls as a leading cause of death and injury for senior adults.
The falls often cause related health problems. For example, seniors suffer moderate or serious injuries such as fractures to legs, hips, arms and shoulders, head injuries, and other wounds in 20-30% of those falls. These types of injuries can be life altering, at times affecting the brain.
How to Help Maintain Balance
As you age, it’s important to engage in physical activity to maintain your muscle strength and your balance. Having good agility and muscle strength helps you avoid a fall and the risk of severe injuries.
As we hit our 30s, we begin losing muscle mass. For those who are less active, the loss of muscle mass accelerates in the aging process.
The loss of muscle mass is due to reductions in nerve cells that send signals from the brain to the muscles to start movement, as well as decreasing hormones, and not getting enough protein to sustain muscle mass.
Recommendations from the CDC
The CDC has recommendations and guidelines on how to help maintain balance for adults age 65 and older. The recommendations include:
- Exercise at least 150 minutes per week. This can be 30 minutes of exercise for 5 days of the week, for example. The exercise should be of moderate intensity such as brisk walking. Another option is 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity such as hiking, jogging, or running.
- Engage in activities that strengthen muscles at least 2 days a week.
- Engage in activities to improve your balance. These activities are as easy as standing on one foot for about 3 days a week.
However, some people may have chronic health condition that hinder their ability to meet the CDC recommendations. They may have to improvise or adapt and participate in alternatives such as swimming or other similar exercises to substitute for walking, hiking, or jogging.
Get Up and Move
Moving around is the simplest way to start with physical activity. Yes, it really is as simple as getting up from your seat and moving around.
For older adults, keep in mind that the CDC says older adults gain health benefits by sitting less and doing any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Any additional physical activity increases those health benefits.
A CARING-FIRST ENVIRONMENT
Senior living communities like Bellaire at Stone Port are precisely that—a community. Residents become friends and even family, and a caring team is there to help them maintain their quality of life.
At Bellaire at Stone Port, we offer both Assisted Living and Memory Care and we care with Honesty, Excellence, Accountability, Residents first and Teamwork. We like to call it Caring with H.E.A.R.T.™!
If you believe a senior living community would benefit your loved one, get in touch with us. Schedule a visit or download a brochure today!