Savers know that a fall may lead to life-changing fractures and injuries that can be devastating, especially for older adults. Fortunately, balance-enhancing exercises like the Standing Coordination And Balance Trainer provide a safeguard against falls, and recent research shows they also protect against injury in the event of a fall.
It’s especially encouraging that fall prevention exercises are effective at reducing severe injuries. After all, those are the types of injuries that can rob you of life quality and usher in a period of decline.
This weekend’s challenge is categorized as a weight-bearing, low-impact exercise that targets the femur and femoral head. Don’t be fooled – it looks easy, but it does live up to the title of “challenge”!
Let’s begin by taking a look at why exercises like this one are such a good addition to your bone-protective regimen.
When you use your body as it is designed to be used, it responds positively. For example, working your muscles strengthens them, challenging your mind helps keep it sharp, stretching enhances your flexibility, and so forth. Tapping into your balance mechanism can help to keep it in top shape, too, so it will kick in when you need it.
And you might be surprised to learn that exercising protects your bones, even if you do fall, as this intriguing phenomenon was recently clarified in a study published in the BMJ.
Researchers explored the known statistics about falls: they are the second leading cause of accidental deaths; injurious falls can lead to a gradual decline in health and life quality; and falls are most frequent among people 65 and older. So they reviewed 17 trials with a total of 2,195 exercising participants with an average age of 76 (2,110 participants acted as control groups).
Gait, balance, and training for function and strength were all evaluated. The conclusions the scientists drew are encouraging:
“Exercise had a significant effect in all categories… Exercise programmes designed to prevent falls in older adults also seem to prevent injuries caused by falls, including the most severe ones. Such programmes also reduce the rate of falls leading to medical care.”1
The good news is that to reap such amazing benefits, there is no need to invest in bulky equipment or expensive gym memberships. Balance exercises can be quite simple, as you’ll see when you’ll read the instructions for this weekend’s challenge, next.
Consider standing near a bed, wall, or chair when first learning this exercise. It involves standing on one leg, so you want to make sure you have something to hold on to or lean against, in case you lose your balance.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Bend your knee to raise one foot slightly off the ground. Hold this position.
- Now turn your head slowly to one side. Move your head to look down, and then back up – slowly.
- Turn your head to the other side and repeat. This is one rep.
- After eight to 10 reps (remember, do whatever you are able to do comfortably), switch legs and perform another eight to 10.
More Balance Exercises
It’s easy to transition from the Standing Coordination And Balance Trainer into this other balance exercise:
If you have the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, then you know that it provides you with several effective balance exercises. Plus the convenient digital format allows you to search for different kinds of moves, such as “balance” or “weight bearing”, and click through all the exercises with that description.
That’s just one way to “flex” the Densercise™ program, which is designed to be practiced three days a week for 15 minutes per session. But as indicated above, you can easily put together a customized workout that builds bone in key areas (for example “femur”or “hips”).
Additionally, one of the features that makes Densercise™ so unique is that it is easily adaptable to any fitness level and individual needs.
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I hope you’ll enjoy this weekend’s challenge! Feel free to share your experience by leaving a comment below.
Have a great weekend!
1 El-Khoury, Fabienne, PhD candidate in epidemiology, et al. “The effect of fall prevention exercise programmes on fall induced injuries in community dwelling older adults: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.” BMJ. 347. F6234. (2013). Web. http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f6234