Millions of people ages 65 years and older trip and fall each year. But did you know that once you suffer a fall, it DOUBLES your chance of falling again!?
Worse yet, one in five falls causes a LIFE-CHANGING injury—such as a broken bone (often a hip) or head trauma—that STEALS away your independence and impairs your ability to get around and do everyday activities.
So, today, let’s talk about how you can stay steady on your feet well into your golden years!
Six simple “steps” to stay steady as you age
1.) Talk to your doctor about any falls or balance issues. Less than half the people who have suffered a fall tell their doctor about it.
But that’s a big mistake.
You should always tell your doctor when you have suffered a fall…or even if you just feel unsteady while standing or walking. Because in many cases, a prescription drug is to blame…
In fact, taking multiple prescription medications—also known as polypharmacy—is a MAJOR risk factor for suffering a fall. Some of the worst drugs known to cause dizziness, balance issues, and an unsteady gait (walking pattern) are:
- Benzodiazepines, which are prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia
- Muscle relaxants
- Prescription opioids
In addition, drugs used to treat high blood sugar and high blood pressure can also cause falls—especially among older people.
These falls commonly happen when a doctor doesn’t lower drug dosages as their patient improves or grows older, leading to episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hypotension (low blood pressure)…as well as light-headedness and falls. This scenario occurs quite commonly among older people, as the liver and kidneys don’t process and “detox” the drugs as quickly as they once did.
Plus, some science suggests we shouldn’t control blood sugar and blood pressure as tightly as patients get older, anyway. In fact, older people may need moderately higher blood pressure and blood sugar levels to supply the brain and other tissues with vital nutrients. (Learn more in the October 2019 issue of my monthly newsletter, Insiders’ Cures [“Here’s why I no longer recommend any blood pressure medication.”] If you’re not yet a subscriber, click here now!)
2.) Get your eyes and vision checked regularly. Undiagnosed eyesight problems or outdated glasses prescriptions can also contribute to falls. So, make sure to get regular check-ups with a doctor who looks into your eyes. And keep your eyeglass prescription current with an optician.
3.) Get your feet checked, too. Make sure your doctor checks your feet during your annual physical, too, as many common conditions can cause foot pain, reduce sensation to your feet, and lead to falls. In addition, wearing proper footwear with non-slip treads can help reduce the risk of falling tremendously.
4.) Follow a healthy, balanced diet. As always, follow a Mediterranean-type diet with plenty of full-fat dairy (including milk, eggs, yogurt, and cheeses); organic fruits and vegetables; wild-caught fish and seafood; grass-fed and -finished, free-range meat; olive oil; beans; and nuts.
This sensible, enjoyable diet will naturally provide your body with plenty of calcium (which you should only ever get from diet alone) and other important vitamins and minerals to build strong bones. It will also give you plenty of protein, which your body needs to build and retain muscle mass as you age. Getting enough dairy is key too for strong bones and muscles. (I will give you more details about the importance of dairy in the diet in an upcoming issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. That’s why now is the perfect time to become a subscriber, if you haven’t already!)
5.) Get moderate exercise—preferably out in Nature. It’s important to stay active to prevent falls no matter what your age. And science shows engaging in about 140 to 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly is the optimal amount for increasing health and longevity.
And, as always, I suggest getting your exercise out in Nature, whenever possible. Not only will the natural terrain pose a gentle challenge for your balance, you’ll also get the benefit of some healthy sun exposure.
Taking a yoga or Tai Chi class can also help improve your core strength and balance—keeping you steady on your feet.
6.) Make some safety modifications to your home. There are also some very simple modifications you can make to your home to help avoid falls—like installing handrails, avoiding furniture that sits too low to the floor, improving lighting, and placing skid-free mats under throw rugs.
In addition to these six steps, you can learn about many more simple, natural strategies to stay vibrant, youthful, and healthy well into your 70s, 80s, 90s—and beyond—in my online learning protocol, The Insider’s Ultimate Guide to Outsmarting “Old Age.” To learn more, or to enroll today, simply click here now.
“Important Facts about Falls.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accessed 10/13/21. (cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html)