Sometimes falling over is inevitable…
No matter how careful you are, you’re destined to hit the floor.
But, not all falls need to cause long-term injury and pain. By learning how to fall properly, you may be able to limit the impact of future falls – helping you remain active.
Research has shown that people aged 50-60 tend to fall more often than the elderly. It’s likely this is a result of us having a more active lifestyle.
But, whatever your age, whilst we can’t always stop a fall, it would be handy to know how to minimise the risk of serious injury if and when we do take a tumble. The 3 tips below highlight some useful things to remember to limit serious damage. The video further down the article discuses useful exercises and movements you can practice at home to become better prepared for falls too.
3 Tips for Falling Safely
Here are our top tips to falling safely;
1. Protect your Head
Our head is arguably the most important part of our body. You can reduce the impact of a fall on your head with some super quick adjustments. If you are falling forwards, try to turn your head to the side so that you land on your cheek. When falling backwards, tuck your chin to your neck so that your head does not immediately hit the ground. You could also bring your hands to your head for added protection.
2. Aim for a Soft Landing
Instinct often sees us putting our hands out in front of us in an attempt to stop our bodies hitting the ground. Unfortunately, our wrists aren’t all that strong, nor are other bonier parts of our bodies such as knees and elbows and you are likely to break bones if they take the full impact of the fall. Instead, try to take the hit on the fleshier areas of your body. Ideally, turn sideways as you fall as this can spread the impact over shoulders and thighs. When falling backwards, aim to land on your buttocks rather than back.
3. Loosen Up
You don’t want to allow one part of your body to take the full impact, especially not if it’s your head or back. Try to loosen up rather than tensing up. Easier said than done, we know, but if you can loosen those limbs, bending legs and elbows, you allow more of your body to absorb the force rather than rigid areas taking the full hit. You can lesson the impact further by rolling with the fall rather than trying to stop as soon as possible once you have landed.
Exercises and Movements to Practice
The video below highlights some great actionable tips you can do at home to better prepare yourself for any falls.
Practising these kinds of moves will ensure you are prepared for any unfortunate tumbles that come your way – and, they may just limit the injury and impact the fall has.
Learning how to fall may not be something you’ve done before, but it could well be one of the best things you do to remain active into older age.
Avoiding Nasty Falls
Ideally, we should take every preventative measure we can to avoid a fall happening in the first place; good grip shoes, ensuring paths are clear of ice and snow, floors clear of trip hazards are good examples.
Inevitably though, a fall will catch you off guard but hopefully these tips will help you land in the safest way possible and reduce the risk of serious injury.