Are You Afraid to Laugh Too Hard?
A flat stomach, not depending on Depends, and amazing sex, all sound good to me.
Laughing so hard that you almost peed is not a joke for some women. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality stated that "25 to 45% of women suffered from urinary incontinence (also known as leakage) at least once in the past year." At times this can be caused by UTI's or medications. However, the most frequent type is caused by stress incontinence, which happens most frequently when you laugh, cough, sneeze, jog, or put pressure on your bladder. The root of this is in your pelvic floor.
The pelvic floor is one of the more neglected parts of the body; it can be found at the base of your stomach. Relaxing this area is difficult because it is where we store our primary stress. This group of muscles is attached to the bones at the base of your pelvis. These are the rudimentary support for your internal organs, creating a strong pelvic floor helps create improved control over your bowels and bladder. Strengthening these muscles also helps improve sexual pleasure.
The pelvic floor is also known as the root chakra in which most of us hold fears about family, health, and safety. It is where emotions are processed, and our fight or flight reactions stem from. That feeling in the pit of your stomach is you clenching this muscle group. Women have issues with lower back pain and incontinence usually due to lack of connection or awareness of this muscle group. Reacquaint yourself with your pelvic floor by figuring out if you are clenching it.
Am I clenching my pelvic floor?
A quick way to tell is by paying attention to your lower stomach, do you feel it clenched or tightened? Once you have made a connection with that area, do a Kegel and then release. Through your breath, you can connect with this part of your body to relax. This is a way to keep in check; however, there will be exercises below to strengthen these muscles.
Babies? What did they do to my pelvic floor?
The miracle of life is ultimately beautiful but can leave you dealing with problems such as incontinence, backaches, and pain during sex for years after. During the pregnancy, all of your muscles in the pelvic floor are stretched downwards, and the actual birth pulls them even more. Once a woman has healed and spoke with her midwife/ doctor they are able to get back to connecting to the base of their core. Whether you are pregnant or not some exercises will be able to help you get back to feeling confident and balanced.
Start by laying on your back and then proceed to lift your pelvis off the ground without causing pain to your hips. Repeat ten times for three sets. If you want to get fancy, you can add a 5lb weight in between your legs.
Start with your legs spread a little further than shoulder width apart, with your toes pointing out. With your back straight and belly button tucked squat. Repeat ten times for three sets. If you feel pain in your back or knees, stop and make sure your back is flat and knees are not being bent over your toes.
Start in a standing position, spreading your legs as if you were going to go into stretch. Then proceed to shift your weight back and forth between opposite legs. Get that deep stretch in there. Repeat ten times for three sets
Start in downward facing dog, then proceed to lift your leg through your hands and place in perpendicular to your torso in front of you. Either enjoy the stretch or try to lean forward to place your hands and head in front your crossed calf.
Inverted core Series:
Start on your back, keeping your legs together lift them to the ceiling, creating an inverted sit up. Use your hands to balance you to the ground, while continuing to try and get your toes to touch the ceiling and your legs, and lower back off the ground. Repeat ten times for three sets
Leg Raises with an Exercise Ball:
Start by laying on your back, and lift your legs off the ground. You do not want them that far off the ground but almost fluttering off the ground about 10-15cms. Start by lifting off the ground for ten seconds, fifteen seconds, and then finally thirty seconds! If you want, add a small medicine ball in between your thighs.
Remember we all have to start somewhere but that somewhere is the first step. So, get a stretch in during household chores, relax your pelvic floor at a red light, and just have fun!
Coming soon we will have free exercise classes to demonstrate different stretches for strengthening your pelvic floor, toning your arms, and tightening that tummy. Stay tuned!