“The best way to enjoy beautiful falling leaves is to stay upright!” says Terri Ivanoski, PurposeFULL living manager in Vista Terrace at North Hill. Here are some tips she offers to walk safely and maintain balance during the autumn season and all year long!
Stay active! Regular exercise keeps our muscles strong, our joints healthy and our minds alert: all important factors in maintaining balance and avoiding falls.
Wear the Right Footwear: Wear shoes that are comfortable, with low heels and good arch and ankle support. Shoes with a non-skid sole are especially important when walking on wet leaves. When the snow flies wear sturdy, waterproof boots and remember that non-skid sole.
Begin Slowly: The leaves, (and then the snow!) will stick around for a while. Begin your stroll at a leisurely pace. You can pick it up later if you feel inclined. You’ll still enjoy all the benefits of walking and maintaining balance. It’s a good idea to go slowly whenever changing postion like getting out of bed or up from a chair. Steady as she goes!
Choose a Path That’s Flat and Navigable: You don’t have to climb a mountain to get the benefits of exercise or maintain balance. Walking through the park, or along a pretty city street can be interesting and relaxing. Enjoy the views of nature or creative window dressings while you stroll. Remember, too, to keep your home enviornment clear and safe for walking so you don’t stumble over boxes or shoes left by the door. It’s always a good idea to to install some grab bars and non stick mats at home to avoid falls.
Walk With a Friend: There’s so much to talk about when the seasons change! Walking with a friend will probably extend the length of your walk and make the time pass quickly. You can be there to suppport each other as you gain strength and balance.
Stay Hydrated: Drink water before you go and carry a bottle with you.
A few more thoughts:
- Check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise or walking program
- Have your doctor review your medications annually to continue with your exercise program
- Stay nourished! Include whole grains, proteins and fruits and vegetables in your daily diet
- Limit alcohol intake to one drink per day
At Vista Terrace we offer daily exercise classes as well as balance training to keep residents fit, happy and healthy. You can take your cue from them. Get out there and walk around in our beautiful New England Autumn, and make sure it’s only the leaves that fall!