FIT for Fall - FIT Human Performance

FIT for Fall


October 8, 2017 –

With the change of leaves and temperature we all take a deep breath and truly love the changes that fall brings but, this article is not about that at all. Did you know 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 ‘fall’ every year? Or that every 11 seconds in America an elderly person is rushed to the emergency room from a fall related injury? I know there are some of you thinking “but that’s only the clumsy people … not me.” I will make you this promise we ALL will contend with balance at some point.

Balance is more than a loss of attention or athletic ability. Balance is a factor of your vestibular system. As not to begin dissertation on the inner ear anatomy, let me just say that your sense of balance is directly a matter of your eardrum and detecting mechanical forces, including gravity, when we move. One example is when a person stands up too quickly and suddenly finds a moment of confusion in the sensory receptors. Dizzy! As we age, and we are aging right now, our body tries to keep up. (FIT Fact: Did you know the ears and nose grow with age.)

If you just stop practicing the movements that articulate your hip joint to the sides and or behind you then your brain forgets what to do when you need to do it. Recently I asked you to try the SLB test. The single leg balance test may have you realizing your balance might be poor, or maybe not. I always say, only perfect practice makes perfect. One easy trick to practice in order to activate your posterior chain and improve your balance is walking backwards. Slowly on a treadmill or directed by a friend perhaps. Walking with proper posture backwards is a direct signal to push your feet behind you and helps to re-train hip extension and foot placement during a backwards fall. A great skill to have!

For a more challenging balance workout stop by and we will work on the NASM ‘SHARK SKILL TEST’ to build your mobility pattens. A FREE opportunity to check your skills, ask me on your next visit! If you have not visited F.I.T. Human Performance call me today for a free FIT CHECK session.

In good health,


Balance in life as in the body is not a given. We have to work for it. – unknown.

Common disorders of balance include:

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or 
positional vertigo – intense vertigo and loss of balance 
caused when you change the position of your head.
  • Meniere’s disease – disorder of the inner ear causing 
vertigo, hearing loss, and tinnitus. According to the 
National Institute of Deafness and Other 
Communication Disorders around 615,000 Americans 
have Meniere’s disease.
  • Labyrinthitis – inflammation or infection of the inner ear.
  • Perilymph fistula – a leak of fluid from the inner ear to 
the middle ear causing dizziness, unsteadiness, and 
  • Vestibular neuronitis – inflammation of the vestibular 
  • Dynapenia – age-related loss of muscle strength that 
causes functional impairment, and loss of balance. In 
fact, dynapenia is much more common than you think. 
Dynapenia causes the loss of muscle mass in your legs, especially your thighs, which are needed to stabilize 
your balance to prevent falls.
  • Ankle stiffness – stiff ankles contribute to falls because 
you need your ankles to help maintain your balance as 
you stand. If you are thrown a bit off your balance and 
your ankles cannot respond with adequate flexibilty, 
you will fall.