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By Carole Morency, president, Yoga Tout for Magazine Virage
Do you want to maintain your vitality? The habit of getting on the floor to play with your grandchildren or great-grandchildren may help you maintain resilience and ease in your daily activities.
Nearly 30% of people aged 65 and over will have a fall during the year. This percentage rises to 50% among people aged 80 and over. These statistics are cause for concern, especially since a fall can result in hospitalization, loss of independence and chronic pain. But, falls are preventable and there are many programs that can help us to avoid them.
Many people cannot get up after a fall, simply because it has been years since they got down on the floor. It’s true, as they get older, most people never get down on the floor at all. The effort involved seems to be too much.
Lying on the floor and getting back up are an exercise in themselves. When you never do it, the muscles associated with this movement forget how. And if you’re unlucky enough to fall down, your brain will not remember what steps to take and cannot send the right instructions to help you get up. This is one of the reasons why, when fall down, some people spend hours on the ground, powerless to get up.
Practising the action of getting down on the floor and getting back up will maintain your ability to easily move from a standing position to lying on the ground or floor. Your stabilizing muscles will be solicited and the neural pathways will remain open and be able to help you when you need it.
Regular practice will help you move easily and safely from a standing position to a lying position and vice-versa. At first, practise the manoeuvre with a chair. Then, when you’re more confident, you can do it without assistance.
To get back, do the same steps in reverse.