Experiencing pelvic floor issues? This easy 20-minute workout can help
10th Sep 2020
According to Always Discreet, almost 4 in 10 Irish women don’t know how to strengthen their pelvic floor
While we’ve been working from home, our workout game has gotten a lot stronger. Without the gym, we’ve had to get creative with home workouts, targeting bums, tums, endurance, and cardio, while experimenting with our meal plans too. But there are some areas of our bodies that we may have been neglecting, that need attention to keep as healthy as possible.
According to research by Always Discreet*, 38% of Irish women do not know how to strengthen their pelvic floor. For many of us, we vaguely know that pelvic floor issues can cause problems with incontinence and that they are common after pregnancy and giving birth, but that’s where our knowledge ends. We don’t know how to work out those pelvic muscles to keep them healthy and strong and protect against these issues in the future.
Work them out
Since lockdown began, 71% of Irish women* report having more time than ever to exercise – but 69% are not exercising their pelvic floor muscles. As a result, one in ten of women surveyed have reported noticing bladder leaks during lockdown, which can mean their pelvic floor muscles could do with some strengthening.
Adult incontinence is very common, but it’s an issue that many women are hesitant to talk about, even though about 1 in 3 of us will experience it at some point in our lives. Incontinence essentially means that there is an issue with how your body responds to having to urinate. Usually, when your bladder is full, it sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to go, and the muscles around it hold the urine inside until you can make it to the bathroom. When you have an issue with incontinence, the muscles that hold in your urine weaken, and you can experience leaks.
There are different types of incontinence that can affect us at different times. Some of these include:
- Urge incontinence: you often feel a sudden, intense urge to urinate, which can lead to leaking.
- Stress incontinence: activities like coughing, laughing or sneezing, or exercises such as jumping or running, can cause leaks.
- Mixed incontinence: you experience a mix of stress and urge incontinence.
Incontinence can be the result of lots of different things, like pregnancy, childbirth, the menopause or simply getting older. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and there are plenty of ways to combat it.
Ellie Hopley, Personal Trainer leading the Pelvic Power by Always Discreet sessions said: “Like any other muscle in your body, the pelvic floor needs to be looked after. I see lots of clients experiencing bladder leaks, but many don’t realise that they can help prevent and improve leaks with a few exercises.”.
And that’s where this workout comes in. Pelvic Power by Always Discreet is a workout available all throughout September on embodyment.co.uk. Always Discreet is on a mission to put the squeeze on leaks and make it easier for women to make pelvic floor exercises part of their daily routine. The workouts are just 20 minutes long, and are completely free to access, so there’s no excuse not to give them a go.
Ferne McCann is leading the charge on the workouts, which can be found at www.embodyment.co.uk, and has also suffered with bladder leaks in the past. She said: “Pelvic Power by Always Discreet is a workout dedicated to strengthening those important muscles, helping to prevent and improve leaks. It’s been developed by a personal trainer and in partnership with a Pelvic Health Sports Physiotherapist. Its quick, fun and makes it easier than ever to get squeezing!”
If you’re worried about the risk of leaks during working out, try to remember that this can mean the exercises are doing their job. Helen Keeble, Pelvic Health Sports Physiotherapist and Always Discreet partner commented: “Although some forms of high intensity exercise can induce leaks, this type of activity can be equally helpful in strengthening the pelvic floor area. Recent studies show that activities such as jumping can cause pelvic floor muscles to contract involuntarily and this can actually strengthen the muscles when part of an integrated treatment plan. The combination of regular and concentrated squeezing along with movements that encourage involuntary contraction, are likely to give you the best chance of improvement. “
Many women have cancelled or postponed pelvic health appointments over the past 6 months due to the Covid-19 crisis. Seeking advice from a healthcare professional is an important first step in the improvement journey and Always Discreet wants to encourage all women experiencing leaks to seek help from their GP or nurse. Many practices are carrying out appointments via phone or video so there is remote help at hand.
If you’ve been experiencing leaks, this workout is a great way to strengthen your pelvic floor, but you may need a little extra help. Always Discreet offers a range of bladder protection products designed to protect you and help you live your best life every day. From panty liners to protective underwear, Always Discreet ensures that you can continue to do the things you love without worrying about awkward leaks.
Join a free Pelvic Power by Always Discreet workout at www.embodyment.co.uk throughout September. The workouts can also be accessed anytime so if you were unable to join live, you can take part at your own leisure.
* IReach surveyed 1000 Irish women in August 2020 on behalf of Always Discreet
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