It’s February, one of the coldest and most dangerous months. You walk to the end of your driveway to get the mail, hit an icy patch, lose your balance, and BOOM, you’re down. It happens in the blink of an eye. Doctors see an increase in tailbone and hip injuries every winter due to slip and fall accidents. But here’s the good news. A few simple exercises to increase pelvic floor stability can help prevent you from losing your balance. At KCUC, we’ve put together a list of our favorites. They are easy to do and easy to work into your daily schedule.
Help Avoid Falls with Pelvic Exercises
The best way to improve your balance is simply by challenging it! Here are some pelvic floor stability exercises that will challenge your sense of balance and work the muscles that are most important for keeping it. Don’t worry if you can’t do these exercises perfectly. It may take time to build your muscles, so focus on form first. Make sure you are doing them right, then worry about adding repetitions.
Reminder: This information is for educational purposes only. Before adding new exercises to your routine, check with your doctor to make sure they are safe to perform considering your specific medical condition and abilities.
Mini squats are exactly that – squatting halfway down. Pretend you are about to sit in a chair, get halfway down and then change your mind and stand back up. Tighten your core on the way down and make sure you can still see your toes. If you let your knees go way out over your toes, you’re doing it incorrectly and could put extra strain on your knees. Repeat 10 times a day.
Remember, when it comes to squats, focus on form first, not speed. It’s not a race. Pay attention to the muscles in your pelvic floor. Really feel it. You’ll accomplish much more by doing well-formed, well-paced squats rather than rush through them with lousy form.
Single Leg Lifts
This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve balance and you can do it almost anywhere, so it’s easy to work into your daily routine. Simply stand tall, keeping your hips and shoulders even like they are stacked on top of each other. Keep your arms by your side. Then, tighten your core, lift your right foot about four to six inches off the ground, and hold for 30 seconds. (If you’re unsteady at first, you can try this near a counter or table to hold onto if you lose your balance until you get the hang of it.) Every little step you take will improve your balance, so start where you are and work from there. Do the same with your left foot. Repeat three times a day.
Side Stepping with Resistance Band
Place the resistance band around your lower legs about four to six inches below your knees, stand up straight, bend your arms at your elbows, tighten your core, and step to the side until your feet are a little more than shoulder width apart. Take three steps to the right keeping the band taut enough to stay in place when your legs are closer together and then stretching it to shoulder width apart again. Then, do the same taking three steps to the left. Repeat ten times.
After a few weeks, you’ll be able to feel the difference. Your pelvic floor will be stronger and more stable and your balance will improve. These exercises are easy to do and don’t take much time. It’s a much better alternative to being injured in a fall.
At KCUC, we strive to provide the highest quality medical care in a supportive, empathetic and respectful environment. We have multiple locations in Kansas and Missouri. To schedule an appointment, call the individual office of your choice. KCUC – where you see the best in KC.