As the human body ages, it becomes easier for injuries to occur. When seniors have an accident or fall, they can put them into a dependent state for some time. Healing takes longer, and they may temporarily lose their mobility.
Keeping your muscles and immune system strong can help you avoid common injuries and live longer.
Seniors have an increased risk of falling as they grow older. Most injuries that seniors suffer are the result of falling, which can cause broken bones, and osteoporosis makes it easier for them to break. A lack of activity also makes joints unstable, weak muscles, and slower reflexes.
Every year, the number of falls occurring among seniors is growing. There are about 36 million per year (about one per second), and about 20 percent result in head injuries or broken bones.
The number of seniors that die because of a fall has also increased.
Muscle Loss Increases Your Risk of Falling
Aging is normally accompanied by muscle loss and some loss of bone density. At the same time, you will likely lose some coordination. This combination makes it easier to fall and makes it likely that the injury will be more severe.
Other Issues Can Increase Your Risk of Falling
You can reduce your risk of falling, but you must be aware that other issues can also lead to falls. Good eyesight and correct glasses or contacts can help you see and detect situations that may lead to a fall. Good shoes can add to your stability when you walk. Some medicines might make it easier to become dizzy. If that happens, talk to your doctor about finding a different medication.
How to Strengthen Your Muscles to Avoid Falls
You can keep your muscles and your bones strong, and the ability to prevent falls, with regular exercise. Walking is excellent because it will strengthen many muscles, but many other forms are available: swimming, weightlifting, biking, hiking, jogging, tai chi, and more.
Establishing a regular pattern of exercise – about 150 minutes per week – can be made easier with some help. You can exercise with a friend or take advantage of virtual exercise programs.
Remember that your brain needs exercise, too, to delay the onset of dementia. Use crossword puzzles, take a college course to learn something new, write, play chess or other table games, take up a new hobby, etc.
Remove Possible Hazards
Some things in your home can make it easier to trip and fall. Remove items such as throw rugs, narrow walkways, and other trip hazards. Put better lighting where needed. Reduce trips up and down stairs as much as possible, and put handrails to increase safety. Install grab bars near the toilet and shower where they can be reached easily.
The Risk of Driving Accidents Increases
Seniors also face an increased risk of accidents when driving as they get older. Driving in daylight is safer, and avoid driving during poor weather conditions – such as rain or snow.
Avoid driving and drinking, and medications that increase dizziness or decrease your ability to stay alert. When necessary, get someone to take you where you need to go.
Exercise is the best remedy for aging to help you maintain your independence and stay healthy. Because it also strengthens your immune system, it will also help keep you healthy and increase your longevity at the same time.