Every year millions of seniors over the age of 65 fall unexpectantly. The results are serious fractures of hips, ankles, wrists and head concussion. Head injuries can be very serious due to bleeding complications which often accompany the fall injury. Often the hemorrhage is complicated by blood thinners. Seniors often take blood thinners for heart attack and stroke prevention. The unfortunate news is once you fall you double the chance of falling again. Not something anyone should have to look forward to. Falling often creates an underlying fear of falling again, which leads to the fall victim cutting back on their usual activities. When a senior citizen becomes less active the skeletal muscles become weaker, shorter and less flexible. When this happens the end result is an increased risk of falling again. According the CDC 2.5 million seniors, every year are treated in hospital emergency rooms. 250,000 of the injuries are serious hip injuries. This is one of many reasons Senior Exercise Programs to prevent injurious falls was created by Health and Fitness professionals.
Senior Exercise Programs to prevent injurious falls are one of many things that can be done to prevent falls. As skeletal muscle weaken, poor balance and range of motion is always the result. In addition to implementing Senior Exercise Programs, a qualified physician should be seen to evaluate the following conditions.
- Medications that could create dizziness or drowsiness
- Eye examination to evaluate maturing cataracts, age related macular degeneration or anything that may be altering depth perception and clarity.
- Orthopedic exam to rule out hip, knee or ankle joint degeneration.
Once these medical findings are ruled out, it is strongly advised that the aging senior begin a strength, flexibility and balance program to revive atrophied inflexible skeletal muscle fibers. A properly designed Senior Exercise Program is a minimal twice per week time commitment. The strength, flexibility and balance program should be expertly designed,executed and supervised by a qualified medical exercise specialist or senior fitness specialist.
My 18 years of rehab experience has shown that most seniors do very well in regaining 75% of their strength and balance in a 3-4 month period. Often they can return to the activities that they once enjoyed in their 30s to 40s such as jogging, tennis or bike riding. Returning to physical activity or sports once enjoyed can dramatically alter an individuals perspective on aging. Often youthfulness is regained.
On the flip side, it is interesting to note that many seniors lack the enthusiasm or desire to start any sort of fitness or rehab program. Often there is an underlying attitude regarding their current age as being a big deterrent. This prevents them from engaging in any level of self improvement.
Often going to an athletic club or gym can be uncomfortable for a Senior citizen. It is then suggested they find a qualified fitness professional with a speciality in medical exercise or senior fitness to come to the home. These In-Home fitness professionals can bring to you the very best of portable high tech fitness equipment. Psychologically a private setting is ideal for conducting Senior Exercise Programs.
Like any other special population the desire for self improvement must come from the individual. You have to really desire it. Have a strong will to thrive, and to be extraordinary. If you don’t then game over. Life stands still.
The mindset of the Type 2 Diabetic and aging senior is identical. These two special population groups both have stubborn fixed mindsets. Although the success rate for stabilizing blood sugars in order to prevent heart disease and death is very high, the Type 2 Diabetic still prefers a life of gluttony and physical inactivity. I have witnessed a parallel behavior in senior citizens. Once they begin to age they mentally give up on life and look for excuses not to thrive and eventually wither away and die. I can only hope this article captures the attention of a few seniors who aspire to live a higher quality of life, and truly get to experience the golden years of life. After all, the technology to improve the quality of seniors lives exists, and there are a few fitness professionals who find satisfaction with helping you get there!
Rivak Hoffman is a nationally certified personal trainer, medical exercise specialist and founder of Every Bit Fit Arizona LLC. His is a seasoned fitness professional with over 18 years in the industry working with Seniors, special populations and athletes. For more information about Rivak and his incredible company click the link. Every Bit Fit AZ