My colleague and I had lightbulb moments today.
You can define such an event as when you realise or think about something you had never thought about before.
One of those instances that over time becomes part of how you see the world.
OK – it wasn’t the Four-Hour Body or a similar time or work saving device, it was, I guess, potentially more significant.
If you think about it, when our children are young we take them swimming. Mostly because it is fun, splashing in water is great and eventually when adequately skilled you can swim in the sea or ponds, if that is your thing.
Another aspect of swimming is that it can help save you from drowning.
It’s an ability that is seldom if ever utilised (saving yourself from drowning) but an important life-skill nevertheless.
What has this all to do with falling over?
Well, it is the skill of getting up from the floor if you have fallen.
That was how Leon Wormley, exercise specialist and director of Functional Fitness in Rotherham, a company which supports those who have fallen to maintain and regain independence described one of the core elements of his falls-reduction programme.
You don’t really want to learn that you don’t know how to get off the floor at two on a cold November morning.
We have a problem in that only a tiny minority of people who fall or who are at risk of falling attend his classes – Covid in particular has interrupted exercise in general and face-to-face classes in particular (same with cardiac and respiratory rehabilitation – crucial components of wellbeing for people living with heart and lung disease).
If you fell, and that is to say, hopefully you won’t (although a third of those over 65 fall each year, and the older you get the more frequently you fall), could you get yourself up again if no one was available to help? If your mobile was in the other room? If you were starkers in the shower?
I’m in my late 40’s and I was down on the floor last week playing with my puppy. I was able to get up relatively easily, although with more struggle than when I was 15. (When I could spring cat-like to my feet).
As we age, as each decade passes, our muscles weaken – some say our strength ebbs by 10 per cent every 10 years.
In Japan even very old people are used to getting down on the tatami for tea.
In the UK the floor is unfamiliar territory except perhaps following a toppling.
Get to know the floor.
If you can’t or won’t or are too worried you will not be able to get up again, check out Leon’s team – link at the end of the blog.
Freda, would you have managed?