10 Tips for Achieving Better Balance and Preventing Falls

More adults are falling each year, despite prevention efforts

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Elderly couple walking through the parc hand in hand

More adults are falling each year, despite prevention efforts. It’s a key reason why a unique, easy-to-use balance training program is needed more than ever.

Nymbl Science is the future of fall prevention and balance improvement with its evidence-based approach that combines fun cognitive challenges with simple body movements (known as dual-tasking), to impact reflexive balance. The exercises can be done easily at home, or anywhere an older adult feels comfortable, in just 10 minutes a day using a smart device. This is noteworthy because more than half of all falls happen at home, so it’s important to offer balance training in the place where falls occur.

A recent study, conducted by the University of Michigan and released last month, found that despite prevention efforts, falls are increasing by about 1.5% annually. And a previous study by the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging suggests that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may be increasing older adults’ fall risks.

The Nymbl Science program, which has been scientifically proven to reduce fall-related injury by more than 35 percent in older adults who use Nymbl, is accessed through an app on a smartphone or tablet, doesn’t require broadband service and is completely free to older adults through select insurance plans.

Aging is Not a Disease

Nathan Estrada, PT, DPT, clinical vice president for Nymbl Science, is passionate about helping older adults age independently, stating that “aging is not a disease.”

“We know that reduced opportunity for exercise and fear of falling increase the risk of falling. That’s why it is so important for older adults to strengthen reflexive balance,” Estrada said. 

Estrada said it’s also time to change the stigma that older adults are not receptive to technology.

“Studies have shown that 97% of people over 50 years old own at least one primary smart device,” he said. “Traditional balance training is missing 90% of older adult populations’ needs, failing to address the No. 1 anxiety of older adults, and causing them to fearfully box themselves into a less-fulfilling life.”

Estrada said everyone can benefit from focusing on better balance. To reinforce the effectiveness of the Nymbl app, Estrada offers these tips for balance-enhanced living throughout the day: 

  1. Adjust your stance. Every time you brush your teeth, challenge yourself to stand with your feet closer together.
  1. Focus on your footing. Concentrate on stepping from heel to toe when you’re walking. This gives your brain the information it needs to assess the walking surface.
  1. Talk while moving. Train your brain and body to work together by counting items as you walk around a room or by carrying on a conversation while exercising.
  1. Lift your feet over imaginary objects. Practice lifting your feet over imaginary objects to prepare yourself for everyday trip hazards, including area rugs. 
  1. Shift your weight. Hover your hands inside a sink for safety and shift your weight from one leg to the other.
  1. Rise from a chair more than once. When you get up from a chair, make it a habit to sit and stand 3-5 more times.
  1. Note objects while walking. Train your brain and body to work together by walking through a room, turning your head and mentally noting objects around you. If you have a walker, make sure there are no dogs or cats in your direct path before proceeding. 
  1. Focus on an object while moving your head. Sit on the edge of a chair and focus your vision on an object across the room while moving your head (up and down, then side to side).
  1. Dance every day. Include dancing into your daily routine.
  1. Practice less weight on your walker or cane. Practice taking 20-second periods where only the weight of your hands is on your device. 

With over half a million training sessions completed, Nymbl Science and healthcare plans are partnering together and are committed to helping older adults reduce their risk of falling with Nymbl’s personalized, in-home balance training solution. For more information, visit www.nymblscience.com