Avoiding falls and fractures as you age can be bolstered with exercise, Elizabeth Tracey reports
You’re probably familiar with the scenario: an older person falls, breaks a hip, requires surgery and rehab, then dies a short while later. Avoiding this trajectory is helped by engaging in certain types of exercise, according to Kerry Stewart, an exercise and cardiovascular health expert at Johns Hopkins.
Stewart: Most fractures occur with a fall, a non traumatic fall. So you know if you fall off of a ladder you're going to break a bone no matter how much exercise you do, but in people who don't exercise regularly and have some osteopenia a fall is potentially very dangerous for a person and could cause a fracture. And so we've also done studies where we help people increase their balance, their flexibility, their agility and their strength as strategies to reduce fractures and fall related injuries. :30
Exercises that help with agility and balance include things like tai chi, dancing, and some forms of yoga. Stewart says integrating these practices along with exercise that helps your cardiovascular fitness is your best strategy. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.