The Best Fall Prevention Tip You Haven’t Heard

John Paul Ouvrier

John Paul Ouvrier

Hello everyone! There are many wonderful fall prevention tips that you should know about. In fact some of the best collections of these tips are available through our own government’s websites. Here is a great resource available from the Center for Disease Control      This guide is free and contains wonderful information.

Are there other great ideas? You bet! And certainly a great doctor and physical therapist working with you directly can show you some wise choices for your body and age. One tip I learned years ago I share regularly. Here it is:

Foot First, Body Second.

You read that correctly; foot first, body second. Now what does this mean? I don’t exaggerate when I say that this tip could prevent a fall and save your life. In fact, I shared this tip recently with one of Hollywood’s biggest singers, and her name shall remain a secret…

Yet, I can tell you this: She is now in her early 80’s, still gets out and sings to sold out shows, and is still beautiful. She is wonderful, and I was so nervous meeting her. I was asked by a colleague to help her out in any way I could, and when she began to describe a problem she had on stage, I told her I knew exactly what it was.

She said she would concentrate on singing so much that she felt a little off balance when she wanted to step side to side to interact with the audience. She said she’d taken to standing still so she wouldn’t feel like she’d fall. She showed me what she was doing, and I knew what the problem was right away.

Have you had this happen to you in your own home? You’re concentrating on something so much that when you want to move to another position or side to side, you feel like you’re going to fall? Of course; we all have. Most of the time we write it off to saying we were focused on something else, or not paying attention, and while that can be true, the answer many times is a little more simple, and is just a bad habit. And the answer to fix this is in an old dance step I learned years ago in ballroom dance class while learning to Fox-Trot. I was having trouble leading a step. My instructor reprimanded me: He said, “John, you can’t lead a movement with your head and expect your body to follow. You’ll fall if you do that. People get in trouble everyday by looking in the direction they want to go, expecting their body to go with them. We all reach an age where you’ve got to lead with your body. Turn your foot in the direction you want to go first and your body will go with you, and then the lady will know where you’re going…”

And that is what I told one of the biggest stars in the world. Here she was singing facing forward, with her feet facing forward, and when she wanted to move, she twisted her upper body to move with her feet facing in another direction! No wonder she felt like she was falling. She was twisting her upper body to the side before her legs, and in effect, pulling herself over! Can you see the wisdom of Feet First, Body Second? This is nothing more than a bad habit. And you can fix it by taking your body with you when you want to move!

Whether standing at the sink washing your hands, or getting a cup of coffee, be like a dancer and let your foot lead the way: Would you like to move to the left? Pick up that left foot and turn it out left first, and then let your body follow the lead of the foot. Otherwise, you will decide to turn left, twisting your upper body while your feet are facing forward, and you could easily fall!

Try it. Perhaps a little Fox-Trot in the kitchen isn’t such a bad idea… unless you’re in slippers. Give it a try; each of you will interpret this differently, and I am not there to show you personally- so ask your medical professional to show you!

Good luck, don’t decide to move in a direction without your legs going with you- pick the direction first, let the foot lead and go along for the ride. Foot First, Body Second. Blessings from the Wizard!

John Paul Ouvrier, known as The Wizard of Youth, is a fitness trainer who specializes in working with older adults. Please consult with your doctor or medical professional before beginning this or any exercise program or advice. The contents of this article do not constitute medical advice. Contact John at, and bring him in to entertain your audiences!     and

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.