5 Reasons Why All women should make the time to do pelvic floor exercises.
Our pelvic muscles are rarely talked about, let alone given the time to be exercised. But they are actually an extremely important part of our body. They are an underestimated yet powerful set of muscles that work in synergy with our back, abdominal's and bottom to support and maintain our core.
Although more and more women are realising how important exercise is, still many of us lead very sedentary lives - If we only exercise 30 mins of the day, ( recommended guidelines are only 30 mins, 3 x a week). But spend the other 24 hrs and 30 mins sitting at a desk, driving long distances in the car, watching telly etc, this can spell out disaster for our pelvic floor.
Did you know that two in three women will experience some kid of physical problems due to the weakening of their pelvic floor muscles during their life time? For many women this starts way earlier in their life then they or you might expect. Often they experience some kind of urinary leakage, when they cough or sneeze, laugh, run or jump. These symptoms most commonly start after or during pregnancy and continue long after childbirth and into menopause. More than 1/3 of women were found to be still experiencing pelvic floor problems more than 1 year after childbirth. And these are only the reported cases. I suspect the actual figure is actually much higher. Especially as this is still very much a taboo topic.
So why is it that we don't look after these muscles?
Why do we find it so hard to motivate ourselves, when it comes to our pelvic floor? It is because we can't see it? Or is it because it’s socially unacceptable to discuss these issues or is it because it’s become an accepted and normal part of childbirth?
Here are 5 good reasons why women should we be making the time to do their pelvic floor exercises.
1. Prepare the body for pregnancy, before and during.
Our Pelvic floor muscles and abdominal's are under a hell of a lot of pressure during pregnancy. They become weakened and lengthened, leaving the bladder and lower back vulnerable to injury due to the reduced support. This can often lead to other physical problems, such as back and pelvic pain, not to mention hip and knee problems. Keeping your Pelvic floor muscles strong will help decrease the symptoms of injuries and pain in pregnancy and help to prevent bladder problems, too. In the long term it will also help you to recover faster after the birth.
2. After childbirth
Check out some of the statistics: 30 % of women still have pelvic floor weakness 1 year after giving birth and 50% of women who have had children develop some form of pelvic organ prolapse due to poor pelvic floor muscle strength. Doing PELVIC FLOOR exercises and strengthening the core muscles after having a baby is key to bouncing back. Quite literally.
3. Bladder control??? Do you have it??
Weak Pelvic floor muscles is the number 1 cause of Stress Incontinence (peeing when you laugh or sneeze) and Urge Incontinence (very suddenly needing the loo, and being unable to hold it). Doing your pelvic floor exercises will help improve muscle tone and strength which can significantly reduce urinary incontinence and prevent further prolapse.
4. Improve confidence and emotional well-being
Exercise is a wonderful way to help improve confidence and emotional well-being. But for many women the threat of an accidental leak can be totally debilitating. Some women won’t leave the house for fear of being caught short, and many have stopped doing the sports they love. Any sport that involves jumping, running and leaping are highly likely to cause a leak if your pelvic floor is not up to the task.
Tenna Lady, Inco Pads, Sanitary towels; whatever you like to call them are becoming a daily occurrence for many women; and sadly it’s not just the over 70’s using them but women in their 20’s who feel that this is just part and parcel of childbirth. But it doesn’t have to be this way, so many women could prevent leaks with just some simple regular pelvic floor exercises.
5. Enhanced sexual sensation and pleasure
Yet another taboo topic!
After women have a baby their bodies change and the unfamiliarity of their body in addition to their weakened muscles can stop them feeling confident and sexy.
Strengthening your pelvic floor can help you feel back in control of your body. Your pelvic floor muscles include the muscles that spasm when you orgasm, thus the stronger the muscles, the stronger the orgasms. The more in tune you are with your muscles and your body, the greater control and pleasure you will have during sex. As the muscle strengthens there's an increase in blood flowing to that area, leading to an increase in sensitivity, which in turn will naturally result in an increase in the production of lubrication of the area and friction during intercourse.
If you are suffering in Silence why not join our Pelvic Power Movement Community Group on Facebook, full of supportive like-minded ladies and packed full of useful information about how to regain your pelvic floor strength back. https://www.facebook.com/groups/pelvicpowermc/