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Home Safety Tips to Prevent a Fall

Did you know that most falls happen in the home? There are ways to make your home more safe to decrease your risk of falling. 

Here are some tips to prevent falls in your home. 

1) Avoid having cords or wires on the ground or in an area where you have to walk around or over them

2) De-clutter! Avoid having clutter around, the less tripping hazards the better off you will be

3) Have proper lighting- keep spare light bulbs at your house and in an easily accessible place. Is there a light close to your bed? It is best to have a light that is within reach of your bed. Use nights lights! You can get motion sensor lights which can be helpful especially at night.

4) Try to keep objects off of the floor

5) Have a clear path from your bed to the bathroom

6) Avoid and/or be cautious with area rugs – if you have them, use double sided tape or non-slip backing so they don’t move around

7) Have non-slip mats in the shower/tub and always watch out for wet spots on the floor. Grab bars are also great to have.

8) In the kitchen, try to keep things you use often on the lower shelves of cabinets, or around or at counter/waist height.

9) Outdoors or indoors, make sure to have sturdy handrails ( 2 rails are better than 1!). Keep steps cleared, well lit, and if they are uneven, loose, or in rough shape, fix them; it will be worth it!

10) Exercise or get some form of physical activity daily! 🙂

If you would like more ways to make your home safer, would like a consultation/walk through of your home with safety recommendations or have questions please contact A to Z Personal Wellness.

Fall Prevention Awareness Week

It is Fall Prevention Awareness Week! Fall prevention is so important, so let’s talk about it.

Did you know that if you have fallen in the past year you are at risk for falling again? Did you know that even if you haven’t fallen but have a fear of falling that also increases your risk of falling?

The good news is that falling is not a normal part of aging and there are ways to prevent and modify risk factors for falling.

Here are some things to think about during fall prevention week:

  • Have you had your eyes checked recently (within the past year)? If not, make an appointment to have them checked. While you’re at it, clean your glasses and keep them clean to help prevent a fall!
  • Have you had your hearing checked recently(within the past year)? If not, make sure to also make an appointment to check your ears. Even if you don’t like wearing hearing aides it is important to wear them as often as you can because when your hearing is affected, so is your balance which could lead to a fall.
  • Next on the check list, have you had a conversation with your doctor about medications, both prescription and over the counter, that you are currently taking? Talking to your doctor about medications- dosage, interactions with other medications, and knowing side effects is extremely helpful for fall prevention. If your doctor is unaware that you started a new prescription with a different doctor or you started taking over the counter medications with your current prescriptions, it is important to talk about it, especially if you are feeling more fatigued, dizzy, weak, etc which can increase your risk of falling.
  • Are you getting enough vitamin D and calcium for your bone health? The stronger your bones are the less likely you are to have a fracture if you were to have a fall.
  • Check your feet! Any changes in your feet like numbness, tingling, etc can affect your balance which can lead to a fall. There are exercises to help with foot and ankle strength, mobility and balance. Wearing supportive footwear with non slip grip and a back to it also helps to prevent a fall.

Stayed tuned for more fall prevention tips coming soon.

As always, contact A to Z Personal Wellness if you have questions or would like more fall prevention info.

Is it Pain or Muscle Soreness?

I’m sure you have heard the phrase “no pain no gain” but is that always the case?

There is a difference between muscle soreness and pain, they are not the same thing. Muscle soreness can be expected with exercise but it should only last a day or two. It is common to be sore after an intense workout or when doing new exercises.

Soreness is typically generalized, can be widely distributed, can also feel like stiffness or fatigue, and may cause you to move slower but usually feels better with movement. Soreness will go away on its own after a few days.

Pain on the other hand is more localized, persistent, inhibits movement and is recurring and in the same place/area of the body. 

Now, you may have also heard if it hurts don’t do it. So which one is true? Well, that depends.

As long as pain goes away after 10-15 minutes then it is ok and you are not hurting yourself. If it lasts longer then that you may have over done it. If it is sharp pain that you are experiencing while exercising then you should stop right away. You don’t want to push through the pain because that could cause injury or worsen an existing injury.

Our bodies were built to move so sometimes our sedentary lifestyle or not moving enough can actually cause us pain, and therefore, moving/physical activity or exercising through it can help decrease the pain. For arthritis, keep in mind that motion is lotion, and one of the best things you can do for it is keep moving. But like medication, you have to find the right dosage of movement and what movements will help the most.

Start slowly and gently and if pain decreases continue with your exercises, but if it gets worse the more or longer you exercise, listen to your body, and stop so that you are not doing more harm then good.

As we age it takes longer for our muscles to recover so it is normal to feel more fatigue or soreness whether you have been exercising your whole life or are new to it. Making sure you are eating enough protein and drinking water throughout the day can help with muscle recovery. Stretching after exercise and using heat or ice can also assist with muscle recovery. It is best to stay active and continue to move through the soreness but vary the activities and/or the muscles you are using.

Remember, if you want to get stronger and improve your balance and mobility, it is important to challenge yourself. Finding the right amount of challenge is crucial for progress so that you don’t over do it, but you also don’t want to to go too easy on yourself!

If you have questions or want guidance with safe, effective and pain free personalized exercise programs contact A to Z Personal Wellness. 

Don’t forget to Hydrate!

It is officially Summer and the hot weather is here! With the warmer weather it is important to increase your water intake. 

Staying hydrated is important for everyone but as we age it becomes more important and some times more of a challenge.

As we age we start to lose our sense of appetite and thirst so we may not be aware we are thirsty/needing water.

Medications can also increase risk of dehydration so ask your doctor or a pharmacist if you are unsure.

Your body composition also changes as you age which causes less water to be in our bodies.

Being hydrated helps your joints stay lubricated to move smoothly and with more ease which can decrease stiffness, aches and pains.

Other benefits of drinking more water include improved cognition, increased energy, improved digestion and better body temperature regulation.

How to tell if you are dehydrated: if you are not going to the bathroom much and if urine is dark colored and more concentrated

Symptoms of dehydration include: fatigue, feeling weak, dizziness, headaches, muscle cramps, confusion, dry mouth

These symptoms of dehydration call also increase your risk of falling and or injuring yourself.

If it is a challenge for you to drink water throughout the day or you just don’t like water you can of course try flavored water but you could also try smoothies or eat foods that have high water content such as watermelon, grapes, apples, strawberries, cantelope, tomatoes and cucumbers. 

If you aren’t sure how much water you are drinking, it may be beneficial to choose a water bottle that measures how many ounces you should be drinking and fill it up each morning to be sure you drink throughout the day or catch up if you are behind. This can also be helpful if you have a hard time remembering to drink water, this water bottle can be with you all day so you see it and it reminds you to drink. 

Get into a routine of always drinking water at the same time each day, one glass as soon as you wake up or one glass of water with every meal, one glass of water after exercise etc. 

There are also free apps for your phone you can use to track how much you are drinking and can remind you when you need to drink water.

Also try to ease into exercising or being active out in the heat to give your body time to adjust to the warmer temperatures. 

There is no one right answer for how much water to drink because there are so many individual factors to consider but if you feel energized and your urine is light colored or clear that is a good sign!

Happy Summer!

Contact A to Z Personal Wellness for a summer time exercise program that can be done indoors or outdoors.