Pelvic Floor Health: 5 Things You Can Do

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When it comes to pelvic floor health, arming yourself with the right information is your first line of defense. Since nobody wants to struggle with urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, or sexual dysfunction, read on to unravel the secrets to maintaining pelvic floor health…

1.   Exercise, exercise, exercise!

Like all muscles, to make it stronger the pelvic floor needs to be worked out and strengthened. Given it is essentially three layers of muscles going from the front of the body to the back, it requires regular strengthening and toning. Performing pelvic floor exercises, often known as Kegel exercises, can be done anywhere if you know how.

Begin by lying down and relaxing all the muscles in your pelvic and thigh area. Then, squeeze gently as though you are trying to stem the flow of urine. Repeat several times. For some women, this can cause a little discomfort, so in that case consider using a kegel trainer or pelvic floor strengthening device to target the correct muscles in the right way. Some come with an interactive app and biofeedback for enhanced user experience.

2.   Maximize fiber

Diet might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you consider pelvic floor health, but in fact, one of the key aggravating factors or pelvic floor issues is constipation. A diet high in whole grains and legumes, fruits, and vegetables will help you reach the optimum 30 grams of fiber (roughly 1 oz), which helps avoid constipation. This reduces the need to strain during a bowel movement – which your pelvic floor will thank you for!

3.   Prioritize mental health

Yoga and meditation have frequently been shown to impact general well-being and promote relaxation, which can impact overall health – including pelvic floor health. Certain yoga poses focusing on the pelvic region can improve flexibility and strength, while meditation helps reduce stress, a factor often linked to pelvic floor dysfunction. Integrating these practices into your routine supports mental well-being and contributes to a healthier pelvic floor.

4.   Focus on your posture

The way you hold yourself can inadvertently impact your pelvic floor health, as all the muscles in your core are interlinked. Focusing on maintaining good posture and avoiding slouching contributes to the alignment of the pelvis and spine, reducing unnecessary pressure on the pelvic floor. While both sitting or standing, try to keep a neutral spine position – especially in the workplace, where poor sitting postures can become ingrained. Adjust your chair height and monitor your sitting position to ensure a neutral spine, as prolonged periods of slouching can negatively impact pelvic floor health.

5.   Stay hydrated

We all know the drill, staying hydrated is crucial for so many bodily functions – and pelvic floor health is no exception! As well as contributing to the elimination of constipation, hydration also helps support the elasticity of the pelvic floor connective tissue. Keeping a water bottle nearby is a good way to remind you to drink adequate fluids during the day. Focus on hydrating snacks, too, such as cucumber sticks, watermelon, or celery rather than savory snacks, which have the opposite effect.

Prioritizing pelvic floor health is an investment in your overall well-being. By incorporating these five top tips into your daily life, from targeted exercises to lifestyle adjustments, you can equipe yourself with the tools to nurture a strong and healthy pelvic floor. Good luck!

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