As we age, we become less and less connected to the ground. Over time this leads to a fear of being on the floor. Since a “fear of falling” is actually a fall risk factor, learning how to recover from a fall is a good prevention skill. How easy is it for you to get down onto the floor and then back up again without assistance? It is important to practice getting down onto the floor and then back up again because if we don’t use it, we will lose it (the ability, that is).
The thought of not being able to get back up may prevent you from going for a walk on a nice spring day. What a shame to have to give up that simple joy if you don’t have to! Often, there are many other Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) that require your getting down on the floor safely – such as playing with children, wiping a spill off the floor, rescuing something that has rolled under the sofa – even some exercises might be more effectively performed on the floor.
Getting up and down from the floor is so important that our ability to do so is actually a measure of our fitness and longevity. This skill requires a minimum level of fitness in all areas of our bodies – balance, flexibility, core strength, upper and lower body strength.
At Live 2 B Healthy®, we have put together 2 new handouts called “Getting Down on the Floor” and “Getting Up from the Floor”. If you attend regular Live 2 B Healthy® classes and would be interested in practicing these skills with Certified Fitness Trainer, please ask your trainer to consider adding these two activities into your fitness classes on a regular basis so you can safely practice these skills. These two handouts with step by step instructions based upon the National Institute on Aging recommendations are available for you to print out as reference.
Of course, if it is not safe for you to get down on the floor (if you have had surgery or your doctor recommends against it) we do not encourage you to attempt any of these movements. If you have any doubts, please consult your doctor.