Afraid of not making it to the bathroom on time? These exercises can help…
- Linda Cunnigham
Learn Some More about the Pelvic Floor
Those of us in good health tend to see life as a glass half full. But if we want to stay healthy, that glass should be empty. Water makes up two-thirds of the human body, so we need to keep the liquid flowing. Good hydration is necessary to balance salts and sugars, lubricate joints, and – importantly – to flush out waste and toxins via the urinary system. However, the majority of people do not consume the recommended amount of water on a regular basis. When asked about the lack of water intake, people’s reasoning included interrupting sleep, not feeling thirsty, and not liking the “taste” of water. However, the particular reason that I’d like to address is the fear of having to ALWAYS use the bathroom and not getting to the bathroom in time.
Let’s be honest, it’s happened to all of us at one time or another, and it can be stressful. But what if I told you that there’s a way to reduce that stress and worry less? What if I told you that the muscles that control your bladder could be strengthened, just like the rest of your muscles? I am referring to your pelvic floor muscles, which are located between the tailbone and the pubic bone within the pelvis. These muscles support the bladder and the bowel. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help urinary incontinence and treat pelvic organ prolapse. The bottom line is that everyone can benefit from doing pelvic floor exercises.
What is the Pelvic Floor?
So now you may be asking yourself, “what exactly are pelvic floor exercises, and how can I do them?” Strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles requires minimal time and not much effort. In fact, the motion can be done just about anywhere and anytime (I’m doing them right now, as I type!)😊
You can do the movement either sitting upright or lying in a supine position with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Gently contract and relax the muscles 10 to 15 times without holding your breath or tightening the surrounding muscles.
Another quick and simple exercise for pelvic floor strengthening is the shoulder bridge. Starting in the same supine position, with knees bent and feet flat, hips distance apart, you slowly lift your hips and push your pelvis towards the ceiling. Hold in an up position for a count of three, then slowly lower back to your starting position. Perform two to three sets of 10 – 15 reps.
We’re Here for You
It’s understandable if you’re still unsure about performing the aforementioned exercises. Taking one of our mat Pilates classes would help you learn the correct form and accurate execution of the pelvic floor muscles. If a class setting is too impersonal and you’d prefer one-on-one instruction, I’d be happy to personally work with you to help tighten up those muscles and get you back to an empty glass way of life!
About the Author
Linda Cunningham is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, AFAA Group Instructor, AAAI/ISMA Pilates Instructor, AAAI/ISMA Kids Fitness Instructor, and also certified in Zumba.