September is National Falls Prevention month and the YMCA wants to make sure you don’t become a statistic.
Practicing and maintaining balance is key to preventing falls.
A recent study from the CDC said every 14 seconds an older adult is treated in the Emergency Room for a fall related injury and every 29 minutes an older adult dies from injuries related to a fall.
Meredith Atterbery, YMCA Personal Trainer, said testing your balance early and often in life is key to maintain a healthy life.
Atterbery said you can test you balance by simply standing on one foot.
If your balance is off, you can practice this movement by holding on to a sturdy surface for stability and focusing on strengthening that standing leg.
If your one leg balance is good, move on to side to side balance and front and back balance.
These can be tested by walking side to side or lunging forward and back.
To step up your balance, Atterbery suggested rolling a soft, small ball under your foot.
This adds another level of instability under foot forcing your legs to work harder to stay on balance.
Atterbery said if you are looking to maintain good balance one legged squats are a great exercise.
Atterbery said another good way to improve or maintain good balance is a group fitness class.
The YMCA offers a number of fitness classes for people of all ages and all abilities.
Atterbery said if you don’t use it you’ll lose it.
For more information on the Falls Prevention and the YMCA click here.