Failing Down Is Up
Updated: Oct 1, 2019
I try to attend a restorative yoga class once a week that is taught by a dear friend. It is a very good class because unlike regular yoga, a restorative yoga sequence typically involves only five or six poses, supported by props such as chairs that allow you to completely relax and rest. Research shows regular practice improves balance and mobility in older adults. That translates to a reduced risk of falls.
Falling is something I am particularly careful of. We had to move out of our last house due to the number of times I fell down the stairs. This was before my mother took her big fall that broke her hip and began her steady decline in health.
During class this week our teacher mentioned some interesting numbers on falls that came out of our local hospital. Falls are now the #1 reason people go to their ER, surpassing chest pains which used to be top. Our local fire department recently reported that nationally an older adult is seen every 11 seconds in the ER for a fall related injury.
What has caused this increase in falls? Multitasking. We are trying to do too much and we end up either texting and walking or simply thinking about something else while we are carrying a load to the garbage bin. This is what happened to a friend of mine and she fell and broke her shoulder.
As we age, we need to concentrate on whatever we are doing and stop trying to do multiple things at once. We need to give ourselves permission to focus on walking while we are walking and to take classes that help us improve our balance, so our body stays trained to react properly when we are at risk for a fall. Once we reach a certain age, our goal should be that when we are up we remain up.