Maintaining balance and core strength is key to decreasing your risk of breaking a bone no matter what age you are. Regardless of your bone density, if you don’t fall you will be unlikely to break your wrist, shoulder, or hip. Over 90% of hip fractures are a result of a fall.
Even though you may be fit, you may be surprised when you start adding exercises for core strength how hard they are. The good news is, you have instant feedback in working on increasing your core strength. Basically you progress from wobbly to becoming stable.
Stand on One Leg to Improve Balance
Try simple things in your everyday life to challenge and build your core strength. For example, while brushing your teeth stand on one leg. If that is easy or once it’s easy, stand one leg and close your eyes. You can do this with any activity, such as while you’re talking on the phone or stand to listen to the evening news. Just make sure you are close to something to grab onto if you need to.
Challenge Yourself in the Gym
If you’re working out with weights at home or in the gym, use of simple techniques and tools to make your exercises more challenging and build core strength. Instead of standing on the ground to do your biceps curls, stand on a Bosu ball, balance board, or balance discs. You can incorporate this for any of your exercises you perform standing up. Instead of sitting on a bench or lying on a bench with your free weight exercises, try sitting or lying on a large exercise ball.
Aging Decreases Your Reflexes
As you age, your reflex reactions decrease. If you stumble and fall, you try to stick out your arm to catch your fall. In your 50s and 60s you are usually successful, but if you have low bone density you may break your wrist. When you are older in your 70s and 80s, you are more likely to land on your shoulder or your hip because you don’t get your arm out in time. Therefore in your later years with the same fall, you’re more likely to break your shoulder or your hip if your bone density is low.
Stay as fit as possible. Incorporate balance and core strength exercises into your regular routine. Then keep challenging yourself in different ways to continue strengthening your core strength and improving your balance. These measures will go a long way to help in preventing falls when you trip or stumble and reduce your risk of breaking a bone. If you have already broken a bone, work with a therapist or trained individual to help you improve your balance and prevent another broken bone.