Ice, Ice, BABY, winter is here! With the weather dropping close to single digit numbers, Southern California residents are shivering in their flip-flops and board shorts. Though everyone prepares in their own way to stay warm and cozy, it is never too late to offer advice in anticipation for the seasonal change. Other than falling in love this holiday season, no one wants to experience or watch someone slip, fall, and get seriously injured. Falls are threatening to the health of older adults and can reduce their ability to remain independent, but falls do not have to be inevitable. Learning about the risk factors and sharing these few tips can prevent a lot more catastrophes. Furthermore, there is more to expect this fall and winter than layering up, so let’s get started. Here are 3 questions for anyone in the SoCal area to ask themselves, especially the older population, to prevent falling.
First off, how safe is my environment? Check the forecast before going outside to plan out specific layers, shoes, and accessories needed for the day. Identifying any slick cement surfaces, wet grass, sloshy mud piles, or any icy staircases before stepping out of the house can determine the safest type of material footwear to wear that day. Although it might seem risk free to lock older adults indoors, it will not solve the problem because there are multiple things to slip and fall on inside the house. For instance, while being aware of the floor material, setting out non-slip bathtub mats or kitchen rugs that don’t slide is crucial to fall prevention. Constructing safety railings up a staircase or along the shower walls is an inexpensive way to avoid tragic fall health bills.
Secondly, how healthy am I? Check with a doctor or medical professional to ensure that either you or your loved ones are evaluated prior to the risks of falling. In 2019, “the emergency department recorded over 3 million patient visits related to falling. Older adult falls cost totaled up to $50 billion in 2019 alone. Most of which is paid by Medicare/Medicaid.” Annual physical checkups don’t seem as bad when compared to an avoidable hospital bill. As we age, our vision tapers off making it more difficult to assess depth perception, to identify certain colors, or to see clearly without dark spots. Along with reduced eyesight, iron deficiency is common in older adults, specifically in women. Low iron in the blood can be affected by nutrient deficiency from a lowered sense of appetite. When talking about the human body and how it is all connected, a deficiency in one system affects a shortage in another system. To this extent, it is important to take these preventative measures before a lack in things such as vision, blood iron content, and appetite start correlating to other health risks.
Lastly, how is my fitness? Everyone knows staying active is good for one’s health, but rarely do they ask why. Working out does more than maintain/grow muscle, strengthen bones, and provide an extreme influx of happy hormones. Balance training, such as Fumanet Training, focuses on weight displacement across the whole body while recognizing where one is in space. Clients and athletes can experience how to be mindful through movement while being aware of other moving objects. Certain strength exercises, such as Planks-giving, can stabilize core and upper body muscles important for an upright posture. Agility drills increase the bodily structure to react to quick slips, trips, or drops. Dynamic power exercises, such as Olympic lifting, build up fascia around common sites of falling injuries: hips, knees, wrists, and shoulders. On top of all that, cardiorespiratory training allows all the body’s systems to run smoothly with efficiently circulated blood and oxygen.
By working with a personal trainer about training any of the aspects listed above, older adults can be more confident walking through life independently and stronger. Empowering the community through positive physical activity is a core value to the trainers at Beach Fitness in Seal Beach. Beach Fitness offers personal or group fitness training classes, FUMANet balance training, and provides preventative/recovery measures such as physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and acupuncture. Everyone working here is highly educated and understands human anatomy/physiology along with common risk factors. Beach Fitness continue to evolve their knowledge with the ever-changing fitness world and has been teaching exercise correctly and safely for over 16 years. Stop by or make an appointment anytime in person or online.
Live your life pain free, confidently, and genuinely.