Exercising for falls prevention

18 August 2023

Falls are the leading cause of hospitalised injuries in Australia with 1 in 3 community dwelling older adults having a fall each year. The good news is exercise can help reduce your risk of having a fall.

Falls can be a major health concern for veterans and impact their lives not only physically, but also mentally and socially. Due to age related decline and reduced physical capacity from a history of injuries, veterans may be more prone to falls.  

Falls commonly occur from a loss of balance, a slip or a trip on uneven surfaces.    

Seeing an exercise physiologist to prevent falls 

An exercise physiologist can provide individual support and guidance for the right kind of exercises and strategies to reduce your risk of having a fall. They can also provide education around common health conditions, hazards, and risk factors to be aware of relating to falls. 

Types of exercises for falls prevention 

Exercise to help prevent falls is based around improving muscle strength, bone density, reaction times, and balance, such as: 

  • Leg strength training: leg strength is very important, especially for older adults with a higher risk of falls. Without strong legs, it’s harder to do a lot of day-to-day activities like going up or down steps and getting up from the couch. If it’s difficult to do these tasks, it makes it even harder to get up off the ground after a fall. 
  • Dynamic balance and functional exercises: these exercises focus on combining two or more movements to improve overall strength, coordination, and mobility for everyday activities. It is important that these exercises are conducted in a supervised environment when first starting. 

Support at Mates4Mates 

Exercise physiologists are trained in understanding and managing chronic health conditions and can assist with developing programs to suit the individual’s needs.  

The team at Mates4Mates is here to provide you with a safe environment to engage in exercise.   

Veterans and their families can access one-on-one sessions with a Mates4Mates exercise physiologist, with dedicated balance and falls prevention classes available including: 

  • Townsville’s Strong & Steady Class: A self-paced, supervised group session to improve strength and balance. 

Small group sessions also available across Mates4Mates locations are: 

  • Hydrotherapy and aqua fitness group classes 
  • Physical training (PT) group classes 
  • Clinical Pilates classes 
  • Weekly yoga classes (also available online) 

To find out more, reach out to Mates4Mates on 1300 4 MATES (62 837) for a confidential chat with an exercise physiologist.   


Written by Cathy Rowe, Mates4Mates Exercise Physiologist 

Latest news


Taking the first step when experiencing suicidal thoughts

Suicidal thoughts can be difficult to talk about, but it is important to acknowledge these thoughts if they occur and seek support as soon as possible.


Supporting our Mates in the 2023 Invictus Games

Mates4Mates are cheering on Team Australia at the 2023 Invictus Games including our inspiring Mates chosen to compete.


Supporting women's health through exercise

Women’s Health Week, held in September, highlights the important role exercise plays in reducing and managing health-related issues.