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Old 01-31-2017, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,868 posts, read 14,364,134 times
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I do think many people fall when they have lost muscle tone in their legs. I've known of older woman who have fallen and twisted a leg or broken a bone, and had to wear a boot for awhile. It is pretty common to see.

Years ago I read in a medical advice column that leg strength was crucial to balance and movement. It did take years for me to start exercising though. Now, I walk one mile on a track, and do two miles on a recumbent elliptical machine 2-3 times a week. I have noticed that my legs are stronger, and I am less fatigued in general.

I also have some balance problems. This problem is worse if I have a bad ear infection. I think my balance problem is probably an inner ear thing. I can tell that is a little worse than it was a year or two ago. This is worrisome. But I believe my best defense is staying strong, and I really do feel that walking and doing the elliptical has helped my strength and my bad knees, as well as my balance.

I also have found that for me, taking iron is beneficial. And, lately, taking vitamin B12 is helpful. My energy is improved from before I took them. But I am not recommending that everyone do this. You have to know your own body.

And, I wear well fitting shoes that support my feet. That is also helpful.
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Old 01-31-2017, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,834 posts, read 4,952,340 times
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Muscle weakness is a well known side effect of taking statins:

Statin Victims Fight Back – Share your story
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Old 01-31-2017, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
A rowing machine is great for safely building up the legs. I have a cheap one and lots of times I read and just do the legs!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
Being an avid rower, I totally agree that rowing is a great way to build leg strength.

...........................
Talk about wake-up calls! I got on my rowing machine the other day and it sank!
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Old 01-31-2017, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,246 posts, read 3,012,247 times
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This is the classic reason to NOT retire in a house with stairs.
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Old 01-31-2017, 04:32 PM
 
21,838 posts, read 16,687,197 times
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It's important as you get older to do some form of strength training, as well as balance, flexibility, and cardio exercise.

Walking is good for you overall and will help keep your legs strong, but you should also do some kind of squat movement since that works the muscles in a way similar to when you get up out of a chair. Here is a simple routine for seniors that only requires a chair.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMWeyCk2-dw

You're never to old to get started exercising.

You might even become as strong as this 77 year old powerlifting grandma.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zjhSlJN-Qw

But you don't have to set your goals that high.
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Old 01-31-2017, 05:11 PM
 
2,181 posts, read 1,699,717 times
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I think my legs are weakening, but is there a "point of no return" for not being able to strengthen them?
Too old to build new muscle or gain strength??
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,888 posts, read 25,319,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhureeKeeper View Post
I think my legs are weakening, but is there a "point of no return" for not being able to strengthen them?
Too old to build new muscle or gain strength??
No! Chances are you will never have the legs of a 16yo cheerleader but you will improve! The key is to do it consistently.
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Old 01-31-2017, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Formerly Pleasanton Ca, now in Marietta Ga
5,455 posts, read 4,091,346 times
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I had no idea statins could weaken your leg muscles. I take a lot of drugs from prescriptions. I have weight trained 5 days a week since I was 20. I'm not in the best of health, but I feel pretty good. I'm sure that had I not been a workout fanatic that I would be in pretty sad shape or maybe even dead.
I know as you get weaker it's hard to workout, especially if you are by yourself. I enjoy my walks by doing my phone calls with friends or listening to audio books. I am the slowest walker and consistently get passed by others, even if they are older. It's tough on my ego, but then I think about how beneficial it is to me and then I don't worry about it.
I think everyone has some great ideas on working out. Especially core exercises. The key is just to get out there and do something as all of it benefits you, even if not optimally.
50% of benefits is better than 100% of doing nothing.
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Old 01-31-2017, 11:36 PM
 
Location: NNV
1,518 posts, read 972,148 times
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Having played league basketball (not at a high level!) for 36 years until my knee gave out at age 56, I believe there are multiple reasons for falling as we age. An additional reason I retired "competitively" was the last couple of years it was very difficult to catch my falls and I would end up hitting my back, shoulders and even head on the floor. I could not react quickly enough. Partially it's weaker and less flexible muscles, partially an older brain, often my brain says I can do something (like the old days) but my body does not respond. We stand more upright with a narrower base (feet less spread) because it is easier, but it is also easier to tip over. Once in a while if I start to lose balance my feet react slowly.

I still play recreational basketball with friends (one guy is 65!) but I have to careful. Last year I went chasing after a loose ball and it felt like the floor had oil on it. I fell hard on my side. I was OK, but I still don't understand how it happened. That's the scary part.
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,404 posts, read 5,922,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic Romano View Post
Having played league basketball (not at a high level!) for 36 years until my knee gave out at age 56, I believe there are multiple reasons for falling as we age. An additional reason I retired "competitively" was the last couple of years it was very difficult to catch my falls and I would end up hitting my back, shoulders and even head on the floor. I could not react quickly enough. Partially it's weaker and less flexible muscles, partially an older brain, often my brain says I can do something (like the old days) but my body does not respond. We stand more upright with a narrower base (feet less spread) because it is easier, but it is also easier to tip over. Once in a while if I start to lose balance my feet react slowly.

I still play recreational basketball with friends (one guy is 65!) but I have to careful. Last year I went chasing after a loose ball and it felt like the floor had oil on it. I fell hard on my side. I was OK, but I still don't understand how it happened. That's the scary part.
My Mom and I used to be puzzled about her friends (a couple) who were constantly falling and ending up in the hospital. "What makes them fall...don't they hold on...?". Until MOM started falling. Each time she fell, she had no idea why. There was no dizziness. However, she was very frail and needed a cane to walk. Each time she fell, I believe it was precipitated by a small but sudden movement, like turning to go in a different direction or even trying to step up on a curb. She eventually died due to a fall -- hit her head, causing a brain bleed from the blood thinners she was taking. Really ironic, given that we had had so many conversations about why her friends kept falling, like it was their fault.

Also, her legs felt really weak and tired. She stopped taking Lipitor (statin) but she really never got the strength back.

I am in physical therapy now for pain around my hip/leg, and I am just now realizing how weak my stomach, back, and leg muscles are. And that is despite line-dancing 3-4 times a week. That may be good for cardio and my brain, but not my muscles. I am going to have to change that....I'm too young to feel this old.
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