St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Exercises to help prevent falls

    Some exercises can make you less likely to fall. They do this because they:

    • Make your muscles stronger
    • Improve your balance
    • Make your muscles more flexible
    • Increase how long you can be active

    You can do these exercises anytime and almost anywhere. As you get stronger, you can hold each position longer or add light weights to your ankles. This will increase how effective the exercise is.

    Try to exercise 2 or more days a week. Start off slowly and check with your doctor to make sure you are doing the right type of exercises for you.You may want to exercise on your own or join a group.

    When you exercise, always make sure you breathe slowly and easily. Do not hold your breath.

    Balance Exercises

    You can do some balance exercises during everyday activities.

    • While waiting in line at the store, try balancing on 1 foot.
    • Try sitting down and standing up without using your hands.

    Toe Stand

    What it does: makes your calves and ankle muscles stronger:

    • Hold on to a solid support for balance, like the back of a chair.
    • Stand with your back straight and slightly bend both knees.
    • Push uponto your tiptoes as high as possible.
    • Slowly lower your heels to the floor.
    • Repeat 10 - 15 times.

    Knee Curl

    What it does: makes your buttock and lower back muscles stronger:

    • Hold on to a solid support for balance, like the back of a chair.
    • Stand with your back straight, feet shoulder width apart, and slightly bend both knees.
    • Lift 1 leg straight back behind you, then bend your knee and bring your heel toward your buttock.
    • Slowly lower your leg back to a standing position.
    • Repeat 10 - 15 times with each leg.

    Leg Extension

    What it does: makes your thigh muscles stronger and may decrease knee pain:

    • Sit in a straight-back chair with your feet on the floor.
    • Straighten 1 leg out in front of you as much as possible.
    • Slowly lower your leg back down.
    • Repeat 10 - 15 times with each leg.

    Stretching the Back of Your Leg

    What it does: makes it easier for you to move around:

    • Sit in a straight-back chair.
    • Put 1 foot on a low stool in front of you.
    • Straighten your leg that is on the stool and reach your hand toward this foot.
    • Hold for 10 - 20 seconds, then sit back up.
    • Repeat 5 times with each leg.

    Other Activities

    Walking is a great way to improve your strength, balance, and endurance.

    • Use a walking stick or walker as needed for support.
    • As you get stronger, try walking on uneven ground, such as sand or gravel.

    Tai Chi is a good exercise for healthy adults to help develop balance.

    Simple movements and exercises in a swimming pool can help improve balance and build strength.

    When to Call the Doctor

    If you have pain, dizziness, or problems breathing during or after an exercise, stop and talk with your physical therapist, nurse, or doctor.

    References

    Instability of geriatrics. In: Duthie EH, Katz, PR, Malone ML, eds. Practice of Geriatrics. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Eleseverier; 2007;chap17.

    Rose DJ, Hernandez D. The role of exercices in fall prevention for older adults. Clin Geriatr Med. 2010 Nov:26(4):607-31.

    BACK TO TOP

          A Closer Look

          Talking to your MD

          Self Care

          Tests for Exercises to help prevent falls

            Review Date: 5/17/2012

            Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

            The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
            adam.com

            A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


            Back  |  Top
            About Us
            Contact Us
            History
            Mission
            Locations & Directions
            Quality Reports
            Annual Reports
            Honors & Awards
            Community Health Needs
            Assessment

            Newsroom
            Services
            Brain & Spine
            Cancer
            Heart
            Maternity
            Orthopedics
            Pulmonary
            Sleep Medicine
            Urgent Care
            Women's Services
            All Services
            Patients & Visitors
            Locations & Directions
            Find a Physician
            Tour St. Luke's
            Patient & Visitor Information
            Contact Us
            Payment Options
            Financial Assistance
            Send a Card
            Mammogram Appointments
            Health Tools
            My Personal Health
            mystlukes
            Spirit of Women
            Health Information & Tools
            Clinical Trials
            Health Risk Assessments
            Employer Programs -
            Passport to Wellness

            Classes & Events
            Classes & Events
            Spirit of Women
            Donate & Volunteer
            Giving Opportunities
            Volunteer
            Physicians & Employees
            For Physicians
            Remote Access
            Medical Residency Information
            Pharmacy Residency Information
            Physician CPOE Training
            Careers
            Careers
            St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
            Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile