Optimize Your Balance!

Sep14th 2016

While we can’t prevent the Fall season from coming, we can minimize the risk of falling!

Answer these questions to assess your fall risk:

  •  Can you stand up from a chair without using your hands?  Studies have found there is an increased risk of falling if hands are required to get out of a chair.   Keep physically active to keep leg muscles strong.
  • Do you take your time moving about?  Avoid rushing about; pace and plan your movements to avoid hurrying, which increases the risk of falling.
  • Are shoes worn both inside and outside your home?  Recommend wearing supportive shoes at all times, avoiding slippery socks and going barefoot.
  • What is your exercise and activity routine?  A combination of light aerobic, strengthening and balance movements is optimal.  Exercise options such as Yoga and tai chi incorporate all these in their routine.  Best to discover the way to exercise that you both like and may do on a regular basis.
  • Do you use an assistive device such as a walker or cane?  Make sure that it has been properly adjusted and fitted for your height and used correctly if it is a loaner.
  • Have you been told you should use an assistive device, but choose not to use one?  This can be a challenging decision with the answer being: “Better Safe Than Sorry!”
  • Is your house clear of throw rugs with good lighting in all rooms?   Home walkways should be well lit and clear of obstacles such as pets underfoot for optimal safety.
  • Do any of your medications have side effects of dizziness or fatigue?  If unsure, ask your pharmacist or doctor to review all the medications and supplements for this potential fall risk.
  • Can you smoothly and safely do these two things at one time: walk and talk?  There is a higher risk of falling if one needs to slow down while walking their normal pace.
  • What exercise activity is done on a regular basis?  A combination of light aerobic, strengthening and balance movements is optimal.


These are some of areas to consider in order to minimize the risk of falling.  If you have further questions about how to optimize your balance, contact St.Francis Rehab for a Physical Therapy assessment.  In this evaluation, a review of the medical history, medications, living environment and daily routine is discussed.  An assessment of balance is done through varied walking, movement and balance activities. Based on the evaluation findings, an individualized exercise activity program is designed to improve strength and balance.

Feel free to contact our clinic for an assessment of your or a family member’s balance this Fall.  If interested in discovering a safe individualized yoga practice to optimize balance, contact Roselee Wondra at the Shakopee clinic.  Roselee is a Physical Therapist and Professional Yoga Therapist with specialization in the use of yoga in medical self-care: Roselee.Wondra@allina.com or at (952) 428-2001.