Staying Active While Staying Home
Staying active helps maintain muscle strength, balance and flexibility and is an important component of lowering your fall risk. While the COVID-19 crisis has led to the cancellation of in-person fitness classes, you can still find ways to stay active at home. Check out the following resources and tips:
- The American College of Sports Medicine offers information about the COVID-19 pandemic and lists easy ways to stay active around the house in Staying Active During the Coronavirus Pandemic.
- Search for senior fitness videos on YouTube or Amazon Prime. Remember to choose programs based on your abilities and check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Start slow, always warm up and cool down and pay attention to what your body is telling you. There are many videos available, here are a couple to consider:
- National Institute on Aging's Go4Life Workout Videos
- National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability's Home Workout Videos
- Don’t forget that walking and gardening are count as exercise too and are a great way to get some fresh air and sunshine. Just be sure to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet and don’t congregate with others outside your household.
- Be sure to stay socially connected while at home to prevent isolation and depression, factors which can increase your risk for falls. Keep in touch with friends and loved ones by telephone, text, e-mail or videoconferencing until it's safe to meet in person again.
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Fall complaints account for 10% of all calls received by the Schaumburg Fire Department, more than any other complaint. The good news is that there are some simple changes you can make to help reduce your risk of falling and stay Steady and Strong.
Keep Your Home Safe
More than 75% of falls take place inside or near the home. Keep your home safe by following these tips:
- Remove tripping hazards and keep pathways clear.
- Improve lighting at the entryway, on stairs, and from the bedroom to bathroom.
- Install grab bars in the bathrooms and in other key areas.
- Keep kitchen items you use often on the lower shelves (about waist level).
Download the CDC Homefall Prevention Checklist with more tips for home safety.
Talk to Your Doctor
- Ask your doctor for an assessment of your risk of falling. Share your history of recent falls.
- Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure side effects don't increase your risk of falling.
- Get your vision and hearing checked annually.
Village of Schaumburg residents can schedule an appointment with a nurse to check blood pressure and review medications. Visit the Village Hours and Facilities page for contact information and hours of operation for Nursing and Senior Services.
Participate in a Good Exercise & Balance Program
Some older adults become so fearful of falling that they limit their physical activity, but studies have shown that staying active and participating in balance programs like tai chi are some of the best ways to lower your risk of falling.
- Check with your doctor to find a program that would be a good fit for you.
- Look for a program that emphasizes building and maintaining strength, balance and flexibility.
View a list of organizations with exercise and fall prevention programs in the Schaumburg area.