Spinning and Incontinence

In today's blog we will discuss the positive and negative effects of spin classes on the pelvic floor. Spinning is a great way to exercise whether that be for enjoyment or weight loss. We are going to discuss if spin classes are good for your pelvic floor, how they affect your body and the types of incontinence they can potentially cause.

Is spinning good for your pelvic floor?

The answer to that question is both yes and no. Cycling and spinning are great ways to support your pelvic floor and improve symptoms of a pelvic prolapse. Spinning is a popular form of exercise, usually indoors and enjoyed through music. An instructor would usually guide you through different speeds and velocities.

This can lead to a prolapse when done too often over long periods of time. This is because prolonged high impact exercise can cause a prolapse, due to the continuous weight and pressure on the pelvic floor, which, can affect circulation and irritate the nerves. 

In moderation, spinning is usually a comfortable sport for women with mild prolapse and also for women who have had prolapse surgery. 

For women with pelvic prolapse and after prolapse surgery, spinning helps overcome the challenge of safe exercise. Bike riding supports the pelvic floor resulting in effective exercise for fitness and weight loss.

How does spinning effect my body?

Regular spinning makes our muscles more effective at drawing oxygen from our blood resulting in a decrease in the physical demand on the heart over time. People who cycle regularly are proven to be less likely to have heart problems later in life. Regular spinning can lower blood pressure, lower stress hormones and raise good cholesterol. 

Spinning builds muscle strength all over the body without bulking. The most obvious is toned legs.

Spinning is known to decrease body fat and helps people drop pounds. It’s more effective to replace one high-intensity workout with two spinning classes a week (30 minutes each) . This can help improve everything from your cardiovascular health to burning fat all over your body. 

Spinning will help you’re:

  • Quadriceps (front of your thighs)
  • Hamstrings (back of your thigh)
  • Glutes
  • Calves
  • Heart
  • Core
  • Shoulders
  • lungs
  • Why does spinning make me want to wee?

    Cycling and spinning can cause different types of incontinence:

  • Stress incontinence- the consistent pressure on your bladder exceeds the force of the muscles holding the bladder shut.
  • Urge incontinence- when the urge to urinate arrives with little to no time before the urine is released. The muscle that covers your bladder is under voluntary and involuntary nervous control. This is what tells your brain “I need to pee!” to save your bladder from exploding. Damage to this nerve can irritate it, releasing the urge to urinate.
  • Functional incontinence- this is almost exclusive to cyclists as they squeeze themselves into spandex and lycra bibs. Functional incontinence happens when you have an accident because you're unable to remove clothing fast enough or make it to the bathroom fast enough due to some physical or mental barrier. 
  • incontinence secret whispers

    Negative effects of spinning

    Common negative effects are:

  • Extreme muscle soreness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Thigh pain and weakness
  • Dark urine 
  • Decreased urine output
  • Rhabdomyolysis- the break down of muscle tissue leading to the release of muscle fibre contents to the blood.triathlete secret whispers spin class

    Spinning and incontinence

    Spinning and cycling cause both men and women to experience genital numbness and even urinary incontinence. Although women are more likely to experience urinary incontinence, UTI’s and saddle sores they are not more likely to have serious sexual or urinary issues than non-cyclists. 

    A study of 300 women triathletes reported that one in three suffers from incontinence and pelvic pain. Experts also found that these women had decreased vaginal and labia sensitivity and a higher rate of UTI’s. 

    In an article (1), A patient in her 50’s with two children had recently begun to struggle to make it to the toilet on time and leak. But she religiously practised pelvic floor exercises after the birth of her children to regain the strength in her pelvic floor. The cause was soon narrowed down to her spinning classes as this was when her problem was at its worst. She revealed that she takes part in four high-intensity sessions a week. She experienced genital numbness but ruled it out as “normal to be a bit saddle-sore” but was soon told that it wasn't normal and spinning is contributing to her incontinence. (1) 

    There have been many alarming reports from women after these high-intensity spin classes. Including women saying they have vigorous swelling or going completely numb then getting pins and needles in their vaginas. Also unexpected leaks even in women without any children. (1)

    To conclude, spinning is both good and bad for you. In moderation, it is a good way to support your pelvic floor. But overdoing it with too many high-intensity sessions can put your pelvic floor in great danger.

    We recommend that you do your Kegels, 10 Slow and 10 Fast before and after each spinning class to maintain a strong pelvic floor. 

    Our Secret Whispers Kegel Weights are designed to help you challenge and strengthen your pelvic floor. You can buy HERE

    If you are concerned that you may have a prolapse, please have a read of our blog - https://secretwhispers.myshopify.com/blogs/the-dribble/have-i-got-a-prolapse-signs-and-symptoms-explained?_pos=16&_sid=5b11d163e&_ss=r

    (1)  - https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-10430221/As-exercise-bikes-linked-incontinence-DR-PHILIPPA-KAYE-asks-spin-class-root-cause.html


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