By Miguel J. Ortiz
The percentage of people with a fear of falling is fairly high, but I’ve come to understand that it is also about the ability to get up or move after doing so. It can also be difficult for people to find a safe place where they feel comfortable exercising or even practicing movements that would help someone get off the floor.
Light calisthenics and regular exercises are great, but I’ve found a great place to do all the exercises needed to help get off the floor after a fall-your bed.
When my father had a stroke eight years ago, he was required to do exercises on what looked like a very large stretching table during rehab. It was a little firmer than a bed but it was soft on jis joints. This “bed” helped him practice rolling over and utilizing his core to assist him in getting up which is required learning when it comes to developing certain sides of the brain. In any case, I continued to think of ways to help people get off the floor when they need extra padding to progress. And it hit me, utilizing the bed to practice getting on all fours helps the ability to crawl and come to a kneeling position.
For these bed-assisted exercises, we want to start simple. You can do glute raises to strengthen the hips, lateral rolls to help develop core strength and pushing off the bed into a kneeling position. These three general moves will greatly impact someone’s ability to recover and get up off the floor.
First., how to do a glute raise. While laying on your back, bend your knees until your feet are flat on the bed, then thrust your hips into the air while squeezing your glutes together to strengthen your hips and stretch your hip flexors. This can also relieve tension in your back as it also strengthens your core.
Second, how to perform a lateral roll. Start on either side of the bed and roll over until you are on your back facing up. Doing this in both directions will help your core and assist in your ability to recognize your space, timing and even your points of contact with the bed. As you get better, you can try to roll over with fewer points of contact.
Now, how to do a hip flexor. When lying on your stomach, flatten your hands in a push up position and push yourself up into a crawling position. Doing this repeatedly will help strengthen your upper body. When you are ready, try to come to a full upright kneeling position with your hands off of the bed. The simplicity in crawling around on your bed and kneeling upright will help joint movement and core stability. Also, it is soft enough for you to practice daily.
Enjoy practicing these movements in a safe place and stay active.