Falls have increased during the Pandemic
Strong and flexible muscles are critical to helping support joints, in particular, the knee, hip and shoulder joints. If unprotected – joints are at risk of injury – and people are at a higher risk of falling and causing more injury.
At our clinics, we have seen a noticeable increase in clients who have experienced a fall at home (often resulting in hospitalisation) as well as more people presenting with joint pain and discomfort as a result of decreased activity due to COVID -19 restrictions. As we do less planned exercise, as well as reduced incidental activity such as popping to the shops or walking around the markets this reduction in movement is having a significant effect on our strength and balance. This is supported by recent research which has shown that hospitalisation for an older person can dramatically reduce muscle strength even after only a week in hospital.
We know exercise is beneficial to both physical and mental health. To keep on track we need to do more intentional activity at home in order to compensate not only for our restrictions in relation to planned exercise but also for our reduction in incidental activity.
What can you do to build your strength and balance?
Make time to exercise. The World Health Organisation recommends 150 minutes/ week spread across three sessions of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week. If you have trouble finding the time to exercise you can try setting yourself an incremental exercise goal, it could be the secret to success. Try the My AgeFit 10-minute march to fitness, written by my sister, Dr Sandra Hunter to get you started.
Stretching can increase flexibility and range of motion around your joints, which in turn may reduce your risk of injury and improve performance. Having good core strength can help improve your balance. Think of balance like a muscle that needs strengthening. Balance can improve – it just needs attention. For strength and balance specific exercises you can do at home, check out my blog, Why doing less is a problem.
Participate in a group class focused on strength and balance. This term we reopened our Better Balance class, a weekly class tailored for people living with general unsteadiness on their feet, a fear of falling or a history of falling. There is a client education focus and also a circuit exercise program that focuses on strength and balance exercises as well as self-awareness techniques. Classes are small allowing individual attention and are run by a qualified facilitator. Contact our clinic to find out more or to join our class.
Some words of warning
You need to build your strength back up slowly, so consider your current level of activity and start slowly and increase gradually and incrementally. Make sure you stretch well before and after your workout, Have a day of rest between days of increased activity.
Selecting online exercise programs randomly can be problematic and lead to injury. You can reduce your risk of injury by taking the time to ask yourself a few simple questions and adhering to some general advice before embarking on a home video exercise program. You can find out more in my blog, Choosing an appropriate exercise program from the internet. Do you know how?
To assist people isolating at home our exercise physiology team have put together a short general work out you can do at home.
Our exercise physiologist enables our clients to live their best lives through holistic individualised exercise and health programs. They assist people through exercise to improve their physical wellbeing, as well as assist in rehabilitation from injury or with medical conditions such as obesity, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, depression, asthma and cardiovascular diseases, as well as many other chronic diseases.Face to face and telehealth consults with our exercise physiologists are available.
We are going through significant growth and are looking for two physiotherapists who want a high-quality experience for a 12-month commitment. One at our Armidale clinic and another in Tamworth.
Move Better for Life is a growing practice with a vibrant and inclusive team with a commitment to ongoing professional development, offering a mentorship program for new or recent grads and fortnightly in house professional development sessions.
The New England offers all the amenities of the city, affordable housing, great shopping, quality educational facilities and vibrant entertainment options, offering its residents a great regional lifestyle.
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Find out more by contacting us via email.
Don’t hesitate to come and see us. We are here to help. Book online today, or give us a call.
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
Our practices are open for physiotherapy treatment, exercise physiology and a range of wellness classes. And we can look after you both in practice and via a telehealth consult. We look forward to seeing you!
Caring for our clients, staff and our community remains our highest priority. Move Better for Life will be adhering to strict COVID-safe practices please view our video below for more.
Getting back on the move again, safely!
- Living with Parkinson’s on Tuesday mornings. We are running 3 consecutive PD classes on Tuesday morning 8.30 am, 9.15 am and 10 am to limit numbers in each class and allow adequate social distancing
- Better Balance is being held on Monday and Thursday mornings – 2 consecutive classes 10 am and 10.45 am each morning to limit numbers in each class for social distancing
- Body Reformer Pilates will be offered on Monday at 4.30 pm and Thursday at 5.00 pm
- Active Oaks is back at Oaktree Retirement Village Armidale on Tuesday at 1 pm
- Better Balance is on Tuesday at 2.30 pm
- Strength for Life (Men’s Group) is on Wednesday at 10 am
- Strength for Life (50’s and over) at Active Fitness is on Fridays from 10 am
- Women’s Exercise Group. on Thursday at 3pm
ARMIDALE PRACTICE HOURS
Monday to Friday – 8:30am to 5:00pm
WHERE TO FIND US
210a Rusden Street
Armidale NSW 2350
02 6772 1962
TAMWORTH PRACTICE HOURS
Monday to Friday – 8:30am to 5:00pm
WHERE TO FIND US
103 Peel Street
North Tamworth NSW 2350
02 5733 4228