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September 25, 2012 > Smooth walking for health

Smooth walking for health

Waking heel to toe - It sounds like something your Mom would tell you to do, right?

Surprisingly, correct walking is a skill many seniors lose as they get older. You may even start to "shuffle" your feet and take smaller steps, not realizing that this is putting you at greater risk for a fall. What would Mom say about that?

She'd probably say, "Pick up your feet!" She would tell you to create a smooth, continuous walking motion. She'd look to see that your heel touches the floor first and your feet pass each other with one step length between strides. She'd remind you that your feet should flex and push off from the floor with no dragging or stubbing of toes, and you should keep your head up.

These instructions may not be easy to follow at first - but if you want to lower you risk of falling, then you need to make it your goal. Just focus on one element at a time. The first thing is to raise your toes when you take a step. Your Mom would tell you to practice walking heel to toe every day, even if you think you've mastered the technique and even if you use a walker.

Finally, your Mom would tell you to call Sandy at LIFE ElderCare (510) 574-2087 to enroll in the free Fall Prevention program. The program serves seniors living in the Tri-City area of Fremont, Newark and Union City who are at risk for falling and would like to improve their balance. Trained Unitek College nursing students will come to your home and instruct you on balance exercises and skillful walking. Simple and fun exercises will be selected for you and approved by your doctor before you begin. It's easy. It's fun... and as Mom would say, "There's always room for improvement!" So call today.

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