Most people take balance for granted. They navigate without thinking, effort, or fear. For millions of others, though, poor balance is a problem. Some struggle with long-term dizziness or imbalance. Others suffer balance-related falls and injuries. A new study concludes that exercise classes like Core Gymball can reduce not only the odds of falling but the odds of sustaining fall-related injuries.
French researchers analyzed the results of 17 trials that tested the effect of fall-prevention exercises on seniors’ risk of falls and fall-related injuries. Overall, exercise programs reduced falls that caused injuries by 37%, falls leading to serious injuries by 43%, and broken bones by 61%. The report was published online in the BMJ (El-Kourey et al, 2013.)
We’ve known for some time that structured exercise with balance training helps reduce falls, and assumed that such programs would also help prevent fall-related injuries. The BMJ report supports that assumption.
Although balance training is the mainstay of fall prevention programs, any exercise that improves endurance, muscle strength and flexibility can help prevent falls and related injuries.
Beyond better balance, the other benefits of classes like Core Gymball that include multi-component exercise include:
- Faster reaction time. This can help you keep yourself upright if you start to fall by putting out an arm quickly to grab something stable.
- Improved coordination. This can directly help prevent falls but can also help you roll rather than crash as you go down.
- More muscle. Stronger and larger muscles can buffer the impact of a fall, providing some protection to bones and joints.
- Stronger bones. Resistance exercises strengthen bones, and stronger bones are more resistant to fractures.
- Better brain function. Regular exercise helps maintain brain function with age. Clearer thinking may help you avoid situations that increase fall risk.
Efforts to prevent falls are best started early in life rather than late in life. Join us in Core Gymball classes to improve your balance and strength in a physiotherapist run class.
For details click here or call (02) 9545 0134 to speak with one of our physiotherapists.