Project Body Smart | An Expert’s Advice on Falls
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An Expert’s Advice on Falls

Follow a Full Fitness Plan to Overcome the Fear and Danger of Falling

Are you afraid of falling?

You might know already that falls are a leading health hazard for people over 65.

But you might not realize that you need a well-rounded fitness approach to improve balance. It requires a focus on all the components of functional fitness, including mobility, muscular-skeletal, and cardio-respiratory.

“Falling is insidious among older adults and requires a more nuanced approach than training, say, just for strength,” says Christian Thompson, a leading expert in fall prevention and treatment for mature adults.

‘Moving and grooving is complicated’

Christian is a kinesiology professor at the University of San Francisco and owner of a fitness consulting company, Thompson Fitness Solutions. He also recently launched Mobility Matters to help active adults improve function, prevent falls, and move with confidence. He is an author and frequent speaker and serves on the International Advisory Board of the Functional Aging Institute (FAI).

Christian believes exercise is “top of the line, 100 percent necessary” for fall protection and healing.

Lisa Grace Wright, an FAI specialist and owner of Your Personal Best Training Studio in Corpus Christi, Texas, agrees.

“We like to say that moving and grooving is complicated,” Lisa says. “One form of moving only involves one aspect required for fitness that’s going to help people keep from falling.”


For instance, you might think it’s enough to practice exercise drills for mobility and agility but neglect the need to increase your speed – which is also essential to improve balance, says Jackie Bachmeier, owner/trainer at Evolution Fitness & Wellness in Houston.

Falling once doubles your chance of falling again, the Centers for Disease Control says. And that can lead to fear, says Sharan Tash, owner of TASH Wellness for Women in Chicago.

“Some people, once they’ve fallen, they let that fear stop them from living their full lives,” Sharan says.

Variety of exercise helps

People over 50 who haven’t had problems with falling still often worry about it. Even active adults can fall, despite their athleticism.

Christian encourages focusing on all aspects of fitness to take care of ourselves, rather than just one – like staying limber, for instance, or jogging regularly.

“You have to be a jack of all trades” to really treat the danger of falling, Christian says.

The upside of this? Your workouts should be designed for variety and fun. So you’re less likely to get bored and frustrated. Variety builds success.

Come talk to us about your fitness and function goals – and, yes, whatever worries you have about falling or anything else. We’re here to guide you through the right kind of fitness program to keep you safe, fit and strong.

Fear of falling? Don’t let it hold you back.

Setting Fitness Records Is No Problem for This Inspiring Grandmother

Meet a woman who holds two world records in fitness at age 65.

Last year, Wendy Ida of California was celebrated by the Guinness Book of World Records for earning two titles: oldest active fitness instructor (multiple disciplines); and most burpees in one minute (female).

It was a celebration earned through adversity, determination and grit.

“Before I discovered exercise, my life was in a shambles,” she told Guinness. She left an abusive relationship in New Jersey and started a healthy life in California, where she was introduced to exercise at 43.

“It changed my whole outlook on everything,” she said.

She also lost 80 pounds. And she has become an author, fitness coach and motivational speaker. The grandmother says she hopes to be an inspiration to other people and show it’s never too late to take better care of yourself – even if you don’t want to make fitness your new career.

Wendy set her first record at age 60, when Guinness verified she was a certified master trainer, a Pilates instructor and a boot camp instructor.

And as for those burpees? Her record was 37 repetitions of the common exercise that involves a leap, squat and pushup.

“It doesn’t matter if you are 22 or 72, it is never too late to take back your fabulous and live the life you have always wanted,” Wendy says on her website.

Good inspiration for anyone.

Healthy Recipe, Shrimp Burger

Here’s a fun classic, but with fewer calories and guilt than you might expect with a delicious shrimp burger.

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil
  • 5 oz raw shrimp (peeled, deveined)
  • fresh parsley
  • cumin, garlic, pepper (choice of other seasonings)
  • red onions
  • bell peppers
  • whole wheat bread
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • goat cheese or mozzarella

Steps

  1. Place peeled shrimp with seasonings and parsley into a food processor.
  2. Pulse blend the mixture but do NOT blend. It should be chunky and sticky. Remove from food processor.
  3. Add in diced onions and bell peppers (if desired).
  4. Lightly spray a skillet with either coconut oil spray or use about 1-2 tsp of coconut oil to cook the patty until it is brown on both sides.
  5. Assemble the burger with your choice of veggies.  Add cheese if desired.  

Nutritional info

Calories: 350

Protein: 37g

Fat: 6g

Carbohydrates: 30g

From Fit Men Cook

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