As soon as the snow falls, a lot of us start to worry about falling. We all know the feeling when our legs shoot out from under us, our drink goes flying, and we land flat on our butts. It’s not fun, is it? I used to fall all the time in the winter, sometimes two or three times a day..
I was terrified to go outside because I didn’t want to fall down.
I hated crossing streets because I was scared that I’d slip on ice and be smushed in traffic.
If you start working on your balance and strength right now, by the time the snow arrives, you’ll be a little more prepared to handle it and will probably have fewer falls.
4 Ways Pilates Prevents Falls
1. It develops and strengthens your ab muscles.
Do lots of ab work. This doesn’t mean a hundred crunches a day. It means exercises that actually work and strengthen your oblique muscles. These are the muscles that help your stability when you’re walking.
2. It improves your reflexes and reaction time.
Last winter, I actually only fell once. It happened to be right in front of the Pilates studio and I was a bit mortified. There were many other times when I slipped or stumbled but, for the first time in my life, my reflexes were fast enough for me to catch my balance and prevent a fall.
3. It eases your body out of fight or flight mode.
You might actually think that, in the cold or on the ice, it’s best to brace yourself against the cold and against falling, but it’s actually easier to prevent a fall if you’re relaxed. You’re less likely to fall if your body is not holding stress and tension. Get your nervous system off its Red Bull habit and replace it with some herbal tea. You’ll notice a difference when you stop tensing up so hard.
4. It makes your balance better.
Really challenge your balance right now. Use foam rollers and stability discs and cushions to push yourself to use your balance. The more your balance kicks in, the more it will start to naturally engage when you need it. You might feel and look silly for a while, and you might stumble or have some close calls, but the more you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone to really make your body kick its balance in, the better. It’s better to take a tumble onto a mat or cushion right now than it is to fall face first into a snowbank.