YMCA continues Falls Awareness campaign

MARQUETTE — A local YMCA is doing their part in helping seniors find balance in their lives. The Marquette YMCA is continuing the ten-year tradition of National Falls Prevention Awareness Day to help residents learn the risk factors of falls.

The main action seniors can take to stay on their feet is exercise.

“And with that, you have floor-based cardio, some strength training exercises, so light weights, you can do those in a chair if you need to, and we also follow up with balance and stretching, so those things incorporated can help strengthen your legs, and help reduce the risk of falling,” said Christina Bennett, Wellness Director for the Marquette YMCA.

As it turns out, even leading a sedentary lifestyle can increase your chances of falling on the rare occasion you do stand up. Sitting around will only make you legs weaker.

“Beginning an exercise program and strengthening those muscles would prevent that, and especially if you are falling, you have the strength to catch yourself if you did fall,” said Bennett

And you don’t even have to go to a gym to improve your balance. Some quick home balancing exercises can do the trick.

“It doesn’t take much, you know a little bit here and there, balancing on one leg for a few seconds, balancing on the other leg, and, you know, just timing yourself,” said Bennett.

Even updating your medications and eye prescriptions can help, as well as removing floor clutter and adding handrails where needed.