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Reduce Your Risk Of Falling In Midlife

Falling In Midlife

Simplicity & Connection Thought Leader: Kay Newton

There’s nothing quite like experiencing a profound lightbulb moment, regardless of age – especially one that reduces the risk of falling in midlife.

My Big Toe:

At 62, I recently had a lightbulb moment when I mastered the art of slacklining—walking unaided on a tightrope using my feet. This accomplishment holds significant personal meaning for me, considering that not long ago, I harbored a deep aversion to my feet. The culmination of two years of dedicated work has not only transformed my relationship with my feet but has also likely reduced my risk of falls as I age.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among adults aged 65 and older, with one in four older adults experiencing a fall each year. The statistics are staggering, with over three million emergency department visits and approximately 32,000 deaths annually in the United States alone, as reported by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). With the aging population, these figures are only expected to rise. 

“It’s imperative not to wait until reaching 65 to address fall prevention.”

It’s imperative not to wait until reaching 65 to address fall prevention. The time to start strengthening your body, particularly your big toe, is now. But before delving into my secret, let’s explore some fundamental information about the toe.

Anatomy And Function Helps Our Balance:

The big toe, also known as the hallux, is instrumental in maintaining balance and stability during various physical activities. It bears a significant portion of the body’s weight during movements like standing and walking, contributing to forward motion. The alignment and flexibility of the big toe are crucial for distributing forces evenly throughout the foot and preventing strain on other structures. 

As women age, changes in foot structure and function can lead to issues such as arthritis, bunions, and stiffness. In today’s world, we often treat these with painful surgery when we can make a difference with the right footwear and exercise. 

Footwear Choices Help With Falling In Midlife:

Selecting the right footwear is paramount for the health and comfort of the big toe, especially as foot conditions become more prevalent in midlife. Ill-fitting shoes with narrow-toe boxes or high heels can exacerbate existing issues like bunions and hammertoes, causing discomfort and pain. 

Prioritizing comfort and support over fashion is essential when choosing shoes, with barefoot styles being an excellent option. Barefoot shoes mimic the foot’s natural shape and movement, promoting flexibility, balance, and foot health.

Other Falling In Midlife Preventive Measures:

Being proactive about foot health can significantly impact the function of the big toe as women age. Incorporating regular foot exercises and stretches into your routine can improve flexibility and strength while maintaining a healthy weight and practicing proper foot hygiene can reduce the risk of foot-related problems.

“Being proactive about foot health can significantly impact the function of the big toe as women age.”

Here Are Three Simple Foot Stretching Exercises:

1. Toe Stretch:

Sit comfortably on a chair or the floor with your feet flat on the ground. Lift one foot and place the ankle of that foot on the opposite knee. Gently grasp your toes with your hand and slowly pull them back towards your shin until you feel a stretch along the top of your foot and into your toes. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, then release. Repeat the stretch on the other foot.

2. Plantar Fascia Stretch:

Stand facing a wall and place your hands on the wall at shoulder height for support. Step back with one foot and press the heel of that foot into the ground, keeping the toes pointed towards the wall. Lean forward slightly, keeping the back leg straight, until you feel a stretch along the bottom of your foot and into your calf. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.

3. Towel Stretch:

Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Place a towel around the ball of one foot and hold onto both ends of the towel with your hands. Gently pull the towel towards you, flexing your foot and toes towards your body until you feel a stretch along the bottom of your foot and into your calf. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, then release and switch to the other foot.

“Perform them regularly as part of your daily routine or as needed to maintain foot health and mobility.”

These three simple foot stretching exercises can help improve flexibility, reduce stiffness, and alleviate discomfort in the feet and lower limbs. Perform them regularly as part of your daily routine or as needed to maintain foot health and mobility.

Seeking My Solution To Prevent Falling In Midlife:

My journey to stronger feet began with Saskia and ‘The Practice’ method she teaches. Through weekly sessions on Zoom, I’ve witnessed remarkable changes in my feet’s shape and function. Daily toe exercises, massage, and wearing barefoot shoes have transformed my feet, allowing my big toe to confidently bear the weight of my body during challenging activities like mountain hikes and slacklining. 

If I can achieve this transformation, so can you. It’s simply about redefining what aging means to you, seeking knowledge, finding support, and dedicating yourself to change. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to reach out or leave a comment below.

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Kay Newton

About the Author:

Kay is the founder of Midlife Strategies, an award-winning International Speaker, and enthusiastic author. She is an acknowledged expert guiding women to find their mojo, through the Midlife Squeeze.

Kay’s books include: 

Today, Kay lives a simple life next to a beach in Mallorca, Spain. You can find Kay here: www.KayNewton.com.