As temperatures begin to rise and lockdown restrictions ease, many of us will be spending more time outdoors, getting out and about or exercising.
Having an active lifestyle can do wonders for your mental health and physical capabilities and the team at Innovo have a life hack that could change the game for you completely.
The Unsung Hero
Core strength is vital for great sport or exercise performance. It forms the foundation for all movement, balance, stability and flexibility. And while we tend to factor core strengthening activities into our fitness regimes, we often forget to think about our bodies’ unsung hero – the pelvic floor. Almost every exercise or physical activity you do affects or utilises your pelvic floor, so it’s important to fully understand it to enable you to better your physical performance.
Over the course of our lives our pelvic floor – the key set of deep muscles situated in the pelvis – can become weakened. The pelvic floor muscles can lose their tone due to a number of different triggers which result in an inability to control urination. This is commonly a result of pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and pelvis and prostate surgeries, leaving one in three women and one in ten men unable to control urinary leaks.
Strengthening your entire core can reduce the risk of injuries
and help ease symptoms of bladder weakness.
Exercising Your Pelvic Floor
Innovo has teamed with pilates instructor and pelvic floor expert Jane Wake to share their tips on how to strengthen your pelvic floor this summer.
Find Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
The first thing that’s important to do is to ‘find’ your pelvic floor muscles and figure out how to activate them. You can feel your pelvic floor muscles if you try to stop the flow of urine when you go to the toilet – please note it’s not recommended to do this regularly midstream as it can be harmful to your bladder.
Engage These With Exercise
One of the most effective exercises involves sitting up nice and tall and pushing out the fleshy part of your buttocks so you can feel the sitting bones underneath. This will help you connect with your pelvic floor muscles better.
Try & Breathe Naturally; don’t hold your breath, just breathe as you would throughout the day.
Start by pulling up through your back passage and front passage, as though you are trying to hold in wind, or a wee. Imagine pulling those two points up together inside you, and keep pulling up and up and then release. Repeat by drawing up again and holding.
Try ten repetitions to get started. You may find it difficult to do this to begin with but keep trying and you will get there. Once you’ve reached ten repetitions, increase this goal gradually until you’re getting to hundreds of repetitions each day for long lasting results. Doing this daily will help you to engage the pelvic floor muscles more effectively and reduce the risks of leaks when out and about.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation
To support exercises such as the above, electrical muscle stimulation is also an effective way to ‘train’ the pelvic floor muscles throughout the day. These devices can come in various forms such as kegel trainers, probes and non-invasive pelvic training shorts, designed to strengthen the pelvic floor while wearers relax.
This option can be great for those finding it too difficult to voluntarily contract their pelvic floor and can help strengthen those muscles for you, while helping you to identify where these muscles are to begin with.
The great news is that despite how common incontinence, bladder weakness, little accidents, what ever you might call it is, it is fixable. You don’t have to put up with leaks, you can do something about it.
What’s your favourite way to target your pelvic floor?
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