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Falling Can Be Risky Whatever Your Age

Hand auf GelnderWhen I was a child, I seemed to be particularly clumsy with permanently scarred, bruised and battered knees. My mother’s solution was to send me to ballet classes from a young age in the hope that I would become more graceful. It didn’t make much difference and now decades later, I have survived many trips and falls. I don’t want to jinx it so I am just going whisper - that I have never actually broken anything. Now my daughter is convinced that her own daughter has inherited my “clumsy” gene. Nevertheless, falls are not to be recommended and we should do all we can to avoid this unnecessary hazard while ensuring good strong bones at the same time!

Top 10 tips to avoid those unwanted falls

  1. Being careful about using your cell phone and staring intently at the screen while walking along the sidewalk and elsewhere outdoors.
  2. Mopping up spills on the floor that could cause slipping.
  3. Taking care when getting up in the night to use the bathroom. Perhaps a night light would help.
  4. Removing trip hazards like clutter, trailing wires and frayed carpet edges.
  5. Using non-slip mats and rugs.
  6. Using a grip mat in the bath and shower and adding grab rails for getting in and out - for the elderly or disabled.
  7. Avoiding walking on slippery floors in socks or tights or wearing long, trailing clothes.
  8. Having your eyesight checked regularly.
  9. Looking after your feet by trimming toenails and general foot care. It is worthwhile seeing a chiropodist about any problems. Wearing well-fitting slippers and shoes in good condition that support the ankle and have a good grip on the sole - especially as you age.
  10. Being aware that even some medications can make you more susceptible to falls while others could react if taken together.

Top 10 tips to make those bones stronger

Nuts and seeds…. 1. A regular handful of raw almonds to give you plenty of vitamin E, manganese riboflavin and magnesium as well as the B vitamins, calcium, iron and zinc. 2. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is one kind of omega-3s that is found in flax seeds, and this fat helps promote bone health. 3. Mustard seeds are a rich source of health benefiting and bone strengthening minerals. 4. Just a handful of sesame seeds a day will provide the recommended levels of phenolic antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and much more. Green leafy veggies... 5. Kale is rich in vitamin K to strengthen the composition of our bones while preventing calcium build-up in our tissue. 6. Include bok choy for a leafy vegetable which is another good source of minerals - particularly calcium, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, iron and magnesium. 7. Broccoli with its high level of vitamin K is very important for bone health. 8. Spinach is an other excellent source of vitamin K and so much more. And there are 2 further tips... 9. Physical activity can reduce your risk of falling, from simple activities to loosen up in the morning to walking or swimming regularly. Weight-bearing exercise is especially good for helping to maintain bone strength while regular sessions of the Chinese martial art Tai chi can help to prevent falls. 10. Aches and pains in the bones are often the classic sign of vitamin D deficiency osteomalacia where deficiency causes a defect in putting calcium into the collagen matrix into your skeleton leading to throbbing, aching bone pain. Sunlight is therefore key to raising levels. Frequent exposure of as much skin as possible (and between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm) to the sun until the skin starts to turn pink is the best way. When impossible, supplementation with good quality vitamin D3 along with some good fat (eg coconut oil or butter) and a dose of vitamin K2 to aid absorption. GrassrootsHealth suggests that adults need about 8,000 IUs of vitamin D3 supplements per day to achieve a minimum serum level of 40 ng/ml. If you can go higher, so much the better. The secret is in regular testing and you can find out more about this here.

If you have a history of falls?

Physiotherapy can help - and a physiotherapist can put together an exercise programme to improve your balance, strength or flexibility. Being overweight can also be a problem. Exercise through swimming where the water takes some of your weight, and also helps you to lose weight at the same time, is a great solution.