As we become more aware of fall prevention across the country and around the globe, it has become apparent that once someone has fallen, more specifically in the 50+ age group, the fear of falling increases and walking properly becomes an issue.

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Sometimes the resulting fear of taking another spill can create what I call the “ground watch” posture. We have all seen or know someone with the stooped or slouched upper body, the gaze fixed on the ground, and their arms barely swinging if they are not using a cane or walker. It makes it tough to walk when the knees hardly bend enough to lift feet clear of the ground or thinking that shuffling feet anchored to the ground will prevent a fall. In short this means their mechanism for reacting to shifts in walking surfaces is not used and is now severely diminished. 

One may not realize that they are not lifting their feet off the ground when walking nor properly using their upper body when turning around to look behind themselves or to the side for fear they might trip. Poor reaction time makes them at risk for falling. 

All of these newly developed “habits” make falling more probable which may be why so many seniors begin to fall more often. This gradually acquired way of walking becomes the “norm” instead of the natural activity of an “active,” upright upper body with swing arms that engage the hips as they work to lift the knees giving us our wonderful mechanics of walking or running. Get to a balance class and learn to use your body again!

Exercise in the pool is a great way to begin, too, since you are building your body by doing resistance training with water! How many people do not pass driving tests because they depend on the rear view mirror to tell them what is behind or beside them and will not turn and look when changing lanes?

Exercise on the Original SANDDUNE™ will help you restore diminished leg and core strength whether due to chronic illness like diabetic neuropathy, Parkinson’s or MS, stroke recovery, surgery (ie…hip or knee replacement) or a sedentary lifestyle. It provides a comforting and enjoyable way to get back on the fitness bandwagon!