Proper Nutrition and Physical Activity Can Help Prevent Falls

Did you know:

Regular physical activity and proper nutrition can go a long way to help decrease your risk of falling. Each year thousands of Manitobans suffer injury, loss of independence and even loss of life due to falls. Fortunately, many of these outcomes can be prevented by implementing some of these changes into our daily lives.

Not eating properly can cause weakness, fatigue and confusion, which can in turn lead to an increased risk of falls and decreased recovery from a fall. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to lower energy levels as well as decreased muscular strength, coordination, stamina and balance control, which may themselves increase the risk of falls and prolong recovery from a fall.

Some examples of nutrients that can help minimize falls include: calcium, vitamin D, protein and fluid intake. Calcium, protein and vitamin D work together to help keep your muscles strong and your bones healthy, thus reducing your risks of falling. Regular physical activity, focused on resistance training and weight bearing tasks, are also required to keep your muscles strong and your bones healthy. Strive to be physically active on a daily basis and achieve the recommended daily intake of both calcium and vitamin D, which may at times require the use of supplements.

Proper hydration also plays a very important role in the prevention of falls. Dehydration can cause low blood pressure, confusion and disorientation. Did you know that thirst is a terrible indicator of your level of hydration? By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated!

We all want to live an independent lifestyle for as long as possible. This requires a certain degree of muscular strength, endurance and balance control. Regular physical activity and exercise help to improve and prevent the decline of muscle strength, endurance and balance control, again which are all risk factors for falls.

Would you like to find out more about risks factors for falls, or would you be interested in hearing more about how proper nutrition and physical activity can reduce your risk factors for falling? The registered dietitians and the exercise specialist at Centre de santé Saint-Boniface are always willing to answer any questions you may have about fall prevention.