As a caregiver, you are already aware of the risks of falling for your loved one. It’s easy for them to become dizzy if they get up too quickly, and sometimes medications can cause their equilibrium to be off. However, there is research that shows they can exercise to prevent falling. Caregivers Connection suggests these four types of exercises to help prevent falls.
Seven minutes a day may not seem like much, yet it can mean all the difference in the world to your loved one in relationship to exercise. A mere forty-eight minutes a week can improve physical function and stave off major mobility disability; i.e., falling.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean lifting weights or running marathons, and some exercises are better for our loved ones, especially if they already have some mobility issues.
Balance exercises: Balancing helps build leg muscles, which can then help to prevent falls. Always make sure that your loved one has a steady, firm surface to hold on to when beginning any type of balancing exercises.
Endurance exercises: Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. Even if just for short distances, encourage your loved one to walk. If they use a walker or other form of stability, make sure that they have it with them. A walk to the mailbox, in the park, or just down the street can help increase their heart rate and their breathing, even if it’s for a short amount of time. The more oxygen that flows to the brain, the better their balance is.
Strength exercises: By increasing metabolism and building muscle, they will be able to better maintain their weight and blood sugar; both of which affect their balance. Simple exercises, like leg lifts and arm curls can be done from their chair, if necessary.
Stretching exercises: These exercises help them experience greater freedom of movement, and can help reduce joint pain, and keep them limber longer.
It’s never too late for your loved one to start to exercise. Seven minutes a day is easy to do, and has lasting health benefits. Beyond helping to prevent falls, exercise helps reduce cardiovascular disease, memory loss and can improve their sleep, all in a simple seven minutes a day.