InsideHook – One in four adults over the age of 65 will fall in the United States each year, according to the CDC.
And of the 36 million reported each year, 32,000 are fatal, while millions of others lead to broken wrists, hip fractures or head trauma.
That initial visit to the emergency room can trigger a cascade of additional medical issues, impacting both the mobility and confidence of senior citizens.
Every longevity expert worth their salt delivers a similar message:
If you want to live a longer, healthier, happier life, you have to start young.
Anti-fall fitness starts with mobility — if you spend most of your life with your legs underneath a desk, chances are they’re going to fail you when you need them the most.
But stress-testing your stability is a particularly effective way to get a read on the strength of your core, the reliability of your bones and the status of all those vertebrae in your back.
You can begin with a dead-simple exam: Attempt to stand on one leg for 10 seconds at a time.
A Brazilian study published this past June and recently highlighted by The New York Times found that the test is highly predictive of mortality: of the 1,700 older adults the team of researchers assessed, those who couldn’t keep their balance were twice as likely to die in the next 10 years.
Fortunately, you’re not doomed if you’re over 50 and can’t complete this test. That’s just a sign that you should begin some form of “balance-enhancing training.” The best way to ace the 10-second test is to pepper your lifestyle with exercises that naturally improve balance.
Think: Tai chi, yoga, mat Pilates, dance classes and daily ambles. If you’re under 65, those walks should definitely include some changes in terrain and elevation, where possible, which are going to strengthen your thighs and the pathways in your brain in equal parts …