Why should I exercise my pelvic floor?
Just like any other muscle group, the pelvic floor needs to be stretched and toned and looked after. Especially if you are a woman and have had children or are considering having children, because pregnancy and birth put a lot of stress on the pelvic floor. Keeping your pelvic floor healthy will help prevent any embarrassing symptoms, like peeing yourself, or worse! when you sneeze or cough, or always feeling a discomfort between your legs because of weakness or pelvic organ prolapse.
An epidemic of pelvic floor disorders
And now with a few numbers: Do you know that a third of women over 40 suffer from a pelvic floor disorder? And that 50 % of women who have had children suffer from a pelvic floor disorder after birth. That’s huge. Experts talk of an epidemic. The main types of PF disorders are urinary incontinence (peeing yourself), fecal incontinence (not being able to hold faeces in) and pelvic organ prolapse (internal organs collapsing onto the vaginal wall). Pelvic floor disfunction can affect your sexual life, your self-esteem and your general well-being. I mean, it can’t be fun to pee yourself a little every time you sneeze or constantly feel like your insides are going to fall in between your legs..
And of course, symptoms get worse with age, and your chances of having pelvic floor disfunction increase with the number of children you have.
And what’s worse: three quarters of women do not seek help! That is insane in my opinion, and that’s where I come in. I want to help these women!
How to protect your pelvic floor with Pilates
The good news is that very simple pelvic floor exercises (no, not the Kegels, Kegels are not enough) can greatly alleviate pelvic floor disfunction symptoms. These exercises help prevent any disfunction if done regularly before, during and after pregnancy, and can make mild symptoms disappear altogether. Yes, that’s right: very simple exercises can keep you symptom-free, and these are the exercises I teach in ALL my classes.
In my classes, we work the pelvic floor by focusing on moving the bones of the pelvis, in combination with the breath, and activation of the large abdominal muscle called the transversus abdominis. It is crucial to use the breath properly, because the pelvic floor is a diaphragm, just like the respiratory diaphragm that helps us breathe, and they work in unison.
So let me finish with more good news: to celebrate the warmer weather and help spread the word about pelvic floor health, I am giving a free online class again. And it will be all about the pelvic floor: I will be giving you very simple tools to use whenever you are exercising, or simply moving in your day-to-day life, to protect your pelvic floor, keep it healthy and keep embarrassing symptoms at bay.
Tell your friends! The class will take place on Monday 5th April (Easter Monday) at 4 pm on Zoom. To take part, all you need to do is email me.
So: ready to join me and spring into action to protect your pelvic floor on April 5th? Email me to book your spot. And please tell your friends, especially the ones who have pelvic floor issues and don’t know what to do about them.