Challenges with Pivoting, Turning and Quick Direction Changes as we Age
September 1, 2021
Preventing falls is a priority for anyone at any age. Falls can range from a very simple loss in balance resulting in the need to grab a wall before hitting the ground or they can be severe by making complete contact with the ground resulting in serious injuries. Either way, falls can be prevented with mindful movement and consistent exercise.
At Pisgah Valley we take precautions with every resident to prevent falling. In order to put the proper prevention steps in place, we must understand balance challenges such as pivoting, turning and changing directions humans encounter due to the natural aging process.
The fact is no matter how strong and conditioned your body is, as you age, changing direction quickly and turning becomes more difficult to accomplish without throwing off your balance.
Here are a few reasons why pivoting, turning and quick direction changes are more challenging:
- Medication interference and side effects
- Vision and hearing problems can cause the person to struggle with depth perception and overall assessment of their immediate environment
- Muscle mass decreases therefore strength decreases
- Reactions slow down
- Reflexes and coordination slows down
How to maintain balance and decrease the risk for falling when changing direction
- Incorporate an exercise regimen into your weekly routine that includes balance exercises and other activities that help improve or maintain body support such as tai chi, strength training, yoga, walking and biking. At Pisgah Valley , our weekly wellness classes offer all of these options and more!
- Slow down and be mindful that your reactions may not be as quick! Keeping this in mind and moving in a controlled manner can help the body balance better.
- If you are someone that likes to move quickly then find safe environments where you can do that such as in a water aerobics class.
- If you are finding that your confidence is low during daily movement, consider visiting your doctor and expressing your concerns. This may be a great time to get some one on one help with a physical therapist. That professional can create a routine specific to your needs.
- Eat a well-balanced diet with the proper amount of protein, fiber and nutrients. Also be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day so no dizzy spells occur.