Sounds crazy, yet it is true. The fear of falling can cause falling in people of all ages. Although, usually we think of older people falling and in fact, 1 out of 3 people over 65 years fall once a year. http://www.cdc.gov.
Why are people afraid of falling? Weakness, unsteady balance, slowness and shuffling gait are usually the reasons I hear from my new clients starting a workout program. I know addressing issues of falling are the top priority for beginning a fitness program.
So, is it the chicken or the egg that came first? Do people stop making their bodies strong and agile due to lack of movement then feel fear? Do people feel fear about aging then begin to do less to protect themselves resulting in a weaker, less balanced body?
Great question to ponder, however fear is the common denominator.
I strongly feel, the best way to strengthen the body and enhance balance is through movement. People do not fall when standing still. Training the body must be done in motion creating a functional life experience.
I love to use orange cones and make a pattern, dots to challenge forward, side and backward stepping and my favorite “walking the RED plank” exercise.
People build on each success, increasing confidence and reducing fear. If you do feel an increasing fear of falling, then start with a safe place to practice with good instruction.
If you have not lost confidence in your body, then do anything you can to preserve strength and balance. In other words, don’t stop, hop ’til you drop!