All You Need To Know About Your Pelvic Floor And Making It Stronger•
Posted on May 29 2019
'Pants not pads!' is the motto of Baz Moffatt, former GB Olympic rower turned phyiscal trainer and core strength expert. If you don't want to use incontinence pads, you need to listen to what she says. She has a first class degree from Birmingham University in Sports science, a Masters from Bristol University and then years of hands-on experience transforming women's lives in person or via online training.
Like us, Baz supports the Eve Appeal and recently held a talk called Menopause 101 with fellow Eve Appeal ambassador Dr Bella Smith – aka The Digital GP, a women's health specialist. 10% of the ticket price for the 50 attendees at the pair's event benefitted The Eve Appeal, the same gynaecological health charity that we support with the sale of our vest tops. But, most importantly we learned a lot about pelvic floor health from a holistic and medical side.
Admittedly it’s not the most glamorous of topics but talking about it now and doing something about it is a lot more appealing than ignoring it and having to wear pads to soak up leaks. Also, if you're currently leaking have you spoken to a medical professional about it? Studies suggest the average person may wait five years before going to see a doctor when the problem is a lot worse than it was at the start. If it’s sorted out early, it’s still possible to regain control.
Why is pelvic floor an issue in menopause?
When we go through the menopause, lack of oestrogen causes muscle loss as well as a reduction of bone density. The pelvic floor is a muscle, so its affected in the same way as the other muscles in our body – it’s going to weaken unless we work at it.
What can we do about it?
Exercise: Baz demonstrated a simple but effective pelvic floor exercise at the event that we can all do at home. Here’s how
- Imagine you have a Malteser in your back passage. Grip it and release
- Imagine you have a Malteser in your uretha, where your urine comes out of. Grip it and release.
- Now grip the back Malteser, grip the front Malteser and pull it all up inside your body.
- Hold for five seconds a release.
- Do 10 repetitions of the above at least once a day.
Baz’s top 10 tips for pelvic floor exercises are available to download here.
Keep on track of the exercises: Are you the sort of person who remembers to do their stretches and workouts? If not, we suggest getting the Elvie pelvic floor trainer.
It takes the guesswork out of pelvic floor exercises as you can connect it to an app on your phone to measure your progress. Find out more details on the Elvie website.
Manage Stress: It’s so hard to find time to take a few moments for yourself, we get it, but if you don’t chill out from time to time then you’re not operating optimally. Stress manifests itself in different areas of the body and if you are the type of person that carries stress in your stomach and tenses up during difficult situations then you will feel it in your digestive system and that leads to bladder issues. Simply trying different breathing techniques can take away a lot of stored stress in the body and reduce pain. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
Sleep- If you aren’t getting enough sleep then it’s not ok. Go to your doctor and seek advice – there may be a simple habit that you can change that will help you. Sleep is when our bodies recover. If you don’t get your pelvic floor time to recover, the exercises will not work as well as they could.
Diet – At our age, we all know what foods make us feel good. We’ve been around long enough to know that while sugary biscuits and cakes taste good, they can leave us feeling sluggish an hour later. Start by getting as much natural colour on your plate as possible. You’ll be surprised how much energy ‘Eating The Rainbow’ will give you without cutting out any food groups or doing anything too extreme.
The Menopause 101 event was inspiring as it gave us hope that by doing simple things we can build up strength to fight the embarrassing symptoms of the menopause. What’s stopping you from starting now?
PS Baz and Dr Bella are continuing their joint quest to give holistic and medical advice for women going through the menopause and will start offering digital courses. We’ll bring you more details as they happen!
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