If you have a medical problem or you are an older adult, you may be at risk of falling or tripping. This can result in broken bones or even more serious injuries.
Exercising can help prevent falls because it can:
You can do the following exercises anytime and almost anywhere. As you get stronger, try to hold each position longer or add light weights to your ankles. This will increase how effective the exercise is.
Try to exercise 150 minutes a week. Perform muscle strengthening exercises 2 or more days a week. Start off slowly and check with your health care provider to make sure you are doing the right type of exercises for you. You may want to exercise on your own or join a group.
When you exercise, always make sure you breathe slowly and easily. Do not hold your breath.
You can do some balance exercises during everyday activities.
To make your calves and ankle muscles stronger:
To make your buttocks and lower back muscles stronger:
To make your thigh muscles stronger and possibly decrease knee pain:
To make it easier for you to move around:
Walking is a great way to improve your strength, balance, and endurance.
Tai Chi is a good exercise for healthy adults to help develop balance.
Simple movements and exercises in a swimming pool can help improve balance and build strength.
If you have pain, dizziness, or problems breathing during or after any exercise, stop. Talk with your physical therapist, nurse, or provider about what you are experiencing and before you continue.
National Institute on Aging website. Four types of exercise can improve your health and physical ability. www.nia.nih.gov/health/four-types-exercise-can-improve-your-health-and-physical-ability. Updated April 2, 2020. Accessed June 8, 2020.
National Institute on Aging website. Prevent falls and fractures. www.nia.nih.gov/health/prevent-falls-and-fractures. Updated March 15, 2017. Accessed April 9, 2020.
Sherrington C, Fairhall NJ, Wallbank GK, et al. Exercise for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019;1:CD012424. PMID: 30703272 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30703272/.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 4/9/2020
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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