Did you know that you should be exercising your pelvic muscles daily? Don’t worry if you didn’t, millions of women have yet to unlock their pelvic floor potential. To celebrate Women’s Health Week we wanted to discuss a topic that we get frequent questions about from our customers: Pelvic floors.
Firstly, what is a ‘pelvic floor’ and why is it important to keep it strengthened? Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles and tissues that support the bladder, bowel and uterus (womb) and like all things relating to the human body, how strong your pelvic floor is impacts how well other things in your body function. Your pelvic floor stretches from your pelvis to your tailbone and can be strengthened and weakened over time. According to a survey by Jean Hailes, 96% of the 15,000 female respondents knew what pelvic floor exercises were but less than a fifth actually did them. Interestingly, almost 1 in 3 women over 65 had issues related to incontinence. Incontinence isn’t just an age-related issue, it impacts women of all age groups.
If you have weakened pelvic floor muscles you’re susceptible to things like incontinence and prolapse. Some reason for weakened pelvic floors include:
- Constipation and diarrhea
- Constant heavy lifting
- Being overweight
How do you strengthen weakened pelvic floor muscles? Give them a squeeze! We recommend doing this 20 times day in one sitting (or standing, depending on where and how you plan on doing them) and assessing the results.
Start off by giving your muscles a squeeze and letting go. The squeeze and letting go should feel quite similar and be the same length. You shouldn’t be pushing or straining and your breathing should be regular. If you’re having trouble releasing after a squeeze you might have an overactive pelvic floor. Other indicators that you have an overactive pelvic floor include having persistent pain in the pelvic region, experiencing pain when inserting a tampon and having difficulty peeing. In this case, we advise consulting with your GP for recommendations on how to improve your pelvic floor. For those of you who can do those squeeze and release exercises with ease, we recommend doing them every time you cough, sneeze or lift, doing exercise such as walking and doing your exercises in different positions (i.e. standing).