Do you know how important your pelvic floor is to your mobility and balance?
The pelvic floor supports the bladder, intestines, and reproductive organs. It also stabilizes the hips and trunk, allowing you to walk and stand. However, people don’t pay as much attention to their pelvic floor as they would their knees or heart.
Studies show that 1 in 5 individuals suffer from some form of pelvic floor disorder. Are you wondering how to strengthen the pelvic floor? Read on to learn more!
The Reasons Behind a Weak Pelvic Floor
Before learning how to strengthen your pelvic floor, it helps to understand what can harm it. Age, habits, and underlying conditions are factors that can affect your pelvic floor health.
As you age, the muscles become rigid and start to lose their tone. Because the pelvic floor consists primarily of muscles, it also begins to weaken. Chronic constipation can also wear out the muscles.
Following a diet that results in obesity can weaken your pelvic floor, too! If a person’s body mass index rises beyond the ideal range, the pelvic floor carries more weight and pressure.
Although anyone can get pelvic floor disorders, women are more prone. Pregnancy and childbirth are the most common causes of pelvic dysfunction. Males who received prostate cancer treatment are also at risk of pelvic floor disorders.
Here’s how to strengthen the pelvic floor to prevent injuries and disorders.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity or living an inactive lifestyle makes you vulnerable to pelvic floor disorders. With more weight to support, your pelvic floor muscles and organs experience extreme pressure.
Following an active and sustainable lifestyle can help you achieve a healthy weight. This involves eating healthy, doing physical activities, having enough rest, and reducing stress.
Your diet must include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein. If you’re attempting to lose weight, it’s essential to follow the right steps. Although a fad diet can get you results fast, it also limits your nutritional intake.
It’s best to follow a diet that nourishes your body’s needs.
2. Observe a Healthy Diet to Strengthen the Pelvic Floor
A balanced diet is essential to a healthy pelvic floor. Eating well nurtures your pelvic muscles and the organs in them. This reduces the risk of suffering from any disorders.
Experts recommend including low-acid fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, like fish and peanuts, can reduce inflammation. When it comes to drinks, water and caffeine-free teas are your best options.
On the other hand, spicy food, high-acid fruits and vegetables, and caffeinated beverages can irritate the pelvic floor. Food with artificial sweeteners, carbonated drinks, and alcohol is not advisable, either.
Regular exercise is essential to your overall health and allows your body to combat disease and become more resistant to injury. However, there are certain exercises that can help you strengthen your pelvic core.
Kegels are one of the best pelvic floor exercises you can do at any time. You can do this while cooking, lying on your bed, or watching TV. This exercise involves contracting and relaxing the muscles in sets.
To start, locate your pelvic muscles. Imagine squeezing the muscles in your lower abdomen to stop the flow of urine. After finding it, you can do Kegels in any position.
Flex your pelvic floor muscles for a few seconds before releasing, then repeat.
Try to avoid flexing the muscles in your buttocks, thighs, or abdomen. Instead of holding your breath, follow your regular breathing pattern. Perform this exercise in three sets of ten repetitions and repeat it three times a day.
Bridging is an easy exercise you can perform on the bed or during regular workout sessions. We recommend doing this in your free time in the morning, at lunch, or after dinner.
Lie on the floor and bend your knees. Keep your back flat against the ground and ensure your knees form a 90-degree angle. Place your arms on your side and your feet flat on the floor.
Next, push through your heels. Squeeze your hamstrings, glutes, and pelvic floor as you raise your hips. Hold the position for ten seconds and return to the initial position.
Like the Kegel, do this in three sets with ten repetitions.
Bird Dog focuses on the core muscles. This exercise helps you improve your stability, relieve back pain, and neutralize the spine.
First, get on your knees and hands and keep your back straight. Your wrists and legs must form a 90-degree angle on the floor.
Next, focus on your core muscles and pull your shoulder blades back down. After this, lift your right arm and left leg. Hold this position for at least ten seconds.
Then, bring your arm and leg to your initial position. Repeat the steps on the opposite extremities of your body.
4. Get Physiotherapy
If you’re struggling with pelvic floor disorders, it’s best to speak to a physiotherapist. Pelvic floor physiotherapy can help you relieve symptoms. Each session allows you to work toward strengthening your pelvic floor.
In your initial assessment, the physiotherapist takes a detailed history of your condition. Next, they will conduct an external examination, assessing your posture, flexibility, and strength. Your physiotherapist creates the best treatment plan for you based on the results.
The follow-up session focuses on your symptoms. Your physiotherapist will advise you on managing symptoms, relaxation techniques, and strengthening exercises. They may also perform follow-up assessments to keep track of your condition.
Luckily, Reform Physiotherapy is home to some of the best physiotherapists in Brampton. Learn how to find the right physiotherapist here!
How to Strengthen the Pelvic Floor
Now you know how to strengthen the pelvic floor. It plays a vital role in one’s everyday life, but unfortunately, it’s easy to take your pelvic muscles for granted. Your weight, diet, and daily activities can impact your pelvic health.
Apart from observing a balanced diet and exercising, consider visiting a physiotherapist. At Reform Physiotherapy, we offer effective treatment that can give the best results. Contact us today to learn how we can help you!