Strong bodies are important to help you complete everyday activities such as getting out of a chair, walking up and down stairs, or pushing the shopping trolley.
Muscles, bones, and joints start to deteriorate as we get older. Maintaining strong muscles, bones, and joints in your legs will help you reduce your risk of falling and keep your movement and flexibility.
Doing physical activity will help to make your muscles and bones stronger and keep you strong, healthy, independent and on your feet.
You may be at risk of a fall if you:
- Find it hard to get up from a chair without using your arms
- Do less than 30 minutes of physical activity each day
- Regularly experience fatigue in your legs
Complete the Move Your Body quiz to see if your leg strength impacts your risk of having a fall.
How can you strengthen your legs?
Completing strength and balance exercises for 30 minutes on most days is recommended to reduce your risk of having a fall. Weight-bearing exercises that use most muscle groups and can be made harder as you get stronger are recommended.
When starting a new activity, it is best to start slow and not overdo it, so that your body gets used to the exercise and you avoid injury. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or GP, Physiotherapist or another health professional for advice on suitable strength exercises.
Everyday movements and actions, like gardening and cleaning, can help you keep your muscles working and your body strong. To learn about different ways you can strengthen your legs to prevent falls:
- Watch the Stay On Your Feet® Strengthen Your Legs with Julie animation
- Download or order the Stay On Your Feet® Strengthen Your Legs Exercise Flyer
- Complete the Move Your Body online learning module
It is important to participate in strength activities that you enjoy. To find low-cost exercise activities in your local area, search the Injury Matters eDirectory.
Who can help you to strengthen your legs?
Doctors or GPs
If you have any concerns about your leg strength, it is best to speak to your doctor or GP at your next appointment. If you don’t have a regular doctor or GP, use Health Direct to find one near you.
Physiotherapists can help you if you have problems with your muscles, joints, or movement. Your physiotherapist will work with you to provide activities to improve your balance, flexibility, and strength. If you don’t have a regular physiotherapist, use Health Direct to find one near you.
Exercise physiologists can provide you with exercises that can help prevent falls, as well as manage other health conditions and injuries. Use Health Direct to find an exercise physiologist near you.
Personal trainers can assist you with exercises to suit your needs and abilities. They can help to motivate you, help you to set goals, and assist you in building your strength and balance. Personal trainers can usually be booked at your local gym or recreation centre.
Aboriginal Health Workers
Aboriginal Health Workers can help you to find services that suit your needs. They help to provide a link between Aboriginal communities and health care services. For more information visit the services below:
- Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
- Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia
- WA Department of Health – Aboriginal Health
Local falls prevention activities
There are a number of organisations that may be running falls prevention activities in your local area. Search the Injury Matters eDirectory to locate activities near you.
Other strength services
If you have concerns about your bone strength, services such as Arthritis WA or Osteoporosis WA can help.
Good balance is also important for moving your body and preventing falls. Learn how you can Build Your Balance to prevent falls.