Types of exercise that work
Strength and balance classes, like the one we have just seen, are the most effective type of exercise at preventing falls.
Researchers have repeatedly shown this and have also shown that group exercises are effective at reducing falls in people who are at high risk of falls, but also those who are at a low risk of falls. These exercises are invaluable in falls prevention.
Not everyone is able to attend a group class and some people may not want to. In this case, exercises can be performed at home. The exercises are similar to those we have seen in the video, but are done by oneself at home. They are proven to be effective at reducing falls.
Tai Chi is frequently recommended as an activity which can prevent falls. This is true for some people but not for all. Researchers have found that Tai Chi can reduce falls, but this benefit is restricted to those who are at a lower risk of falling.
Although it would make sense that having stronger muscles would prevent falls, performing exercise which only improves muscle strength does not reduce falls. This is probably because it does not improve other important factors such as balance and stamina. Unfortunately, research studies have also demonstrated that strength training for falls prevention frequently results in injury.
Walking is a great way to keep our nerves, inner ear, bones, cardiovascular system and general health in good shape. Unfortunately, we are not aware of any research which has shown that regular walking is effective at preventing falls. However, we would still recommend it as a way of ageing healthily.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways of preventing falls. But the exercise needs to be designed specifically for falls prevention and usually includes strength and balance training, whether in a class or at home.
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