Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls
Physical activity improves health at any age. Everyone needs it. What’s in it for me?
- It keeps your bones and muscles strong and healthy
- It improves your balance
- It helps you move easier
- It keeps your heart and lungs healthy
- It increase your energy
- It helps you sleep
- It improves your confidence when walking
At any age, your body can get stronger with activity. It is never too late to start.
Do at least 150 minutes of activity every week if you are over 18 years old. These activities should make you sweat a little and breathe a little harder. You can break this into 10 minute periods. If you are just getting active start slowly, and add a few minutes each day.
Being active will help you with your daily living tasks like getting up from a chair or into a car. Activities should strengthen both your arm and leg muscles. Arm strength is needed just as much as leg strength for daily tasks.
If it is hard to get started, find a buddy, make a plan or try something new to keep it interesting. You could even join a class. Find programs at our local YMCA, senior’s centre, or municipal recreation department.
Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting a new physical activity.
Examples of physical activity include:
Strength and balance activities: Tai chi, stair climbing, exercising with weights or exercise bands, and doing wall pushups
Endurance (heart) activities: Walking, dancing, gardening, and swimming
Flexibility activities: Tai chi, and stretching
this page for other examples.
Activities that emphasize balance are essential so include those every day. Balance means not standing still but being able to “catch yourself” if you lose your balance. Keeping your trunk muscles strong will help.
"I walk daily and belong to a bowling league. Regular activity keeps me strong. When I tripped, I regained my balance and didn't fall. My friend, who isn't very active, wasn't so fortunate when she had a fall and broke her hip."
Listen to your body. Stop if you have pain or discomfort. If you are not sure whether you are having pain or muscle stiffness, talk to your healthcare provider.
The greatest health risk for older adults is living an inactive life.
—World Health Organization, 2005
To learn more about your risk of falling complete the
“Is there a chance you might fall?” checklist.
Current as of: June 30, 2019
Author: Fall Risk Management Program