An Expert’s Advice on Preventing Falls

Jan 22, 2019 | Fitness News and Tips

Dr. Christian Thompson and participants in his Always Active program in San Francisco

Are you afraid of falling?

You might know already that falls are a leading health hazard for people over 65.

But you might not realize that you need a well-rounded fitness approach to improve balance. It requires a focus on all the components of functional fitness, including mobility, muscular-skeletal, and cardio-respiratory.

“Falling is insidious among older adults and requires a more nuanced approach than training, say, just for strength,” says Dr. Christian Thompson, a leading expert in fall prevention and treatment for mature adults.

‘Moving and grooving is complicated’

Christian is a kinesiology professor at the University of San Francisco and owner of a fitness consulting company, Thompson Fitness Solutions. He also recently launched Mobility Matters to help active adults improve function, prevent falls, and move with confidence. He is an author and frequent speaker and serves on the International Advisory Board of the Functional Aging Institute (FAI).

Christian believes exercise is “top of the line, 100 percent necessary” for fall protection and healing.

Lisa Grace Wright, an FAI specialist and owner of Your Personal Best Training Studio in Corpus Christi, Texas, agrees.

“We like to say that moving and grooving is complicated,” Lisa says. “One form of moving only involves one aspect required for fitness that’s going to help people keep from falling.”

For instance, you might think it’s enough to practice exercise drills for mobility and agility but neglect the need to increase your speed – which is also essential to improve balance, says Jackie Bachmeier, owner/trainer at Evolution Fitness & Wellness in Houston.

Falling once doubles your chance of falling again, the Centers for Disease Control says. And that can lead to fear, says Sharan Tash, owner of TASH Wellness for Women in Chicago.

“Some people, once they’ve fallen, they let that fear stop them from living their full lives,” Sharan says.

Variety of exercise helps

People over 50 who haven’t had problems with falling still often worry about it. Even active adults can fall, despite their athleticism.

Christian encourages focusing on all aspects of fitness to take care of ourselves, rather than just one – like staying limber, for instance, or jogging regularly.

“You have to be a jack of all trades” to really treat the danger of falling, Christian says.

The upside of this? Your workouts should be designed for variety and fun. So you’re less likely to get bored and frustrated. Variety builds success.

Lisa, Jackie, Sharan and the rest of us in the Functional Aging Institute Mastermind group got to spend some quality time with “Dr. Chris” in Santa Clara two weeks ago. I borrowed him for this little video:


Come talk to us about your fitness and function goals – and, yes, whatever worries you have about falling or anything else. We’re here to guide you through the right kind of fitness program to keep you safe, fit and strong.

Fear of falling? Don’t let it hold you back.

Lisa Leis is bringing another MELT workshop to ProActive Fitness this Saturday, January 26th from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

MELT: Relax and Roll

Designed to give you tools to unwind tension, melt away stress and thoroughly relax.

Suitable for absolutely anyone, especially the inflexible, the exhausted, those who need some quality time to unwind long-held patterns of tension and stress in body and mind.

Using soft MELT balls and rollers we will learn revolutionary MELT Method technique for restoring relation to your body. The class will close with the deep relaxation of shivasana, the ultimate in “Yoga naptime” to leave you feeling refreshed, rested and calm.

To register, please email or call the studio at (306)374-3013. Cost is $40 + GST

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

We all know that vegetables are good for us, and that we should eat more fresh veggies in order to increase the fibre and vitamin content of our diets. But, the truth is that most veggie side dishes don’t taste good enough to entice the whole family to dive in. This recipe is the answer. Broccoli and cauliflower are roasted in an outrageously tasty way that’s simple, quick and full of nutrition.

Serve this delicious veggie side dish with a piece of lean meat for a well-balanced, fitness approved meal.

What you need

Serves 4

  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1 bunch cauliflower
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • dash of sea salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • juice from 1 lemon


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet with olive oil.
  2. Wash the broccoli and cauliflower heads and then pat dry. It’s important to dry thoroughly so that it will roast properly. Cut into small florets.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the florets, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic cloves. Toss until well combined and then spread over the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven once the florets are tender with crispy bottoms.
  5. Drizzle the lemon juice over the cooked florets and serve immediately.


One serving equals 160 calories, 4g fat, 98mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, 4g fibre, and 4g protein