A new month is upon us and if you're anything like me you'll be wondering how we got August already! Thankfully, the pressure of home-schooling is off at the moment and I've actually recovered some time for me. We often forget how important self-care is and before we know it weeks have gone by and we've been working, looking after the children and our families, and our body, mind and spirit is feeling neglected and rundown.
New exercise routine
Others of you, like me, will have had a lot less time - I believe home-schooling will have worried a lot of us - wondering if we've done enough, worrying that we haven't dedicated enough time to our children, our partners and our work. Mother's guilt can have such terrible implications on our health and well-being. I, for one, have struggled to keep my exercise regime intact throughout lockdown and, from the messages I’ve received, it sounds like a lot of you are feeling the same. Lack of exercise, just like being new to exercise, can lead to pelvic floor concerns.
One day everything is fine and then you go to lift something heavy or you sneeze unexpectedly and you’re shocked to find you’ve leaked - this is known as stress incontinence. It does make me so sad that more of us weren't given this information in school - if all girls and boys were advised from aged 14 (and I am forever grateful that I was) of the importance of a strong pelvic floor and the impact of not exercising it would have on your future body, we would not see so many women suffering with urinary incontinence in later life.
National Pelvic Floor Awareness
Some women are unfortunate in having tough childbirth causing damage to the muscles but for the majority, if we had good pelvic floor awareness from an early age so that exercising becomes as much part of our daily routine as brushing our teeth, we would really reduce the percentages of women who suffer leakage to well below the 50% (official statistics but I believe to be more like 60%) we currently see.
If you find you're one of those ladies who doesn't leak regularly but only occasionally when you cough, laugh or sneeze I have a little “knack” for you which is98%effective!
Train your pelvic floor
Have you been practising your pelvic floor exercises? From the feedback I've had, most of you do your exercises when you read this blog or see some of my social media posts! It's nice to know that I’m a reminder, but I'd really love for you to get into the regular daily habit to give yourself the best outcomes.
So there are basically the 3 exercises that you need to know….
So the first is the Slow Kegel - imagine holding in wind and wee at the same time. That's the area you want to engage/contract. Hold this for up to 10 seconds. This may feel like a lifetime and it takes practise so don't panic if you struggle to hold for 10 seconds initially, just stick at it. Then release for 3 seconds (equally important to fully relax the pelvic floor as well). Then repeat for 10 rounds.
The second is the Fast Kegel to quickly pull upwards and inwards, as above, just a quick second, then release quickly and repeat 10 rounds. It's good to do the slow ones then the faster ones intermittently and aim for 15 minutes of exercise overall.
And then finally, and this one is known as the “Knack”, when you feel you’re about to sneeze, cough or you're going to pick up something heavy, possibly your child, engage your pelvic floor pulling it in nice and tight as you sneeze or lift and you'll find that to be an effective tool to guard against leaks…….. a 98% effectivetool! And who doesn't like a statistic like that?!
Go on, give it a go and share your insight with the people around you. You may save someone from an embarrassing moment and they will be truly grateful.
If you're struggling with a weak pelvic floor and you're feeling now is the time to take action check out my Secret Whispers® Kegel Weights Kit (and get 10% off) and speed up your journey towards a strong, reliable pelvic floor. Wishing you every success!