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When Exercise Gets You Down – How to Prevent Falls

When Exercise Gets You Down – How to Prevent Falls
When Exercise Gets You Down – How to Prevent Falls
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Can exercise get you down?  One of the few hazards of regular exercise is that you can occasionally trip and fall.  And, these falls can be a simple as a little trip up on the pavement, to the more devastating wipe out on a treadmill or down stairs.

Falling is primal and our bodies do everything to prevent it from happening. The moment you become off balance, your brain registers that something’s wrong and tries valiantly to correct it.  Your arms and hands reach out to protect your head from hitting the ground and you body may start to curl inward in an attempt to “roll with it.”  Unfortunately, despite her vigilance, Mother Nature can’t always prevent the inevitable and we wind up on the ground with, hopefully, something short of a total face plant.

For most of us, an exercise-related fall is embarrassing but not serious.  For you runners and speed walkers out there, those skinned knees and shins should be washed gently in the shower and kept clean until they heal.  A little Neosporin-type salve can keep them from cracking and bleeding but regardless, nature will take its course and those wounds will disappear.

If you are feeling sore from the fall, some ibuprofen or acetaminophen can ease the discomfort for a few days.  Do try to stay active with some stretching and light walking if you can.

When is a post-fall doctor visit necessary?  If you are on any type of blood thinning medication, hit your head, can’t bear weight on either leg or feel an ankle or wrist start to swell, it’s best to get an immediate medical assessment – at either an urgent care or emergency room.

Potential spills are not a reason to stop exercising altogether, but they can be devastating, so do your best to pay attention while walking or running.  If you run or walk outdoors in the early dawn or after dark, a small flash light can really help. And sticking to a path you know well can help limit mishaps.  As for having your nose in your mobile device – not only is that unsafe, you are defeating the purpose of being outside and enjoying the world around you – something we all need to do more.

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