What is your 'pelvic floor', and why is it important to strengthen it?
Did you know that 1/4 of all women have a form of pelvic floor disorder? Read on to learn more about your pelvic floor, and how to care for it.
In a nutshell, your pelvic floor is all of the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues in your lower pelvis, or the lower part of your trunk.
Having a strong pelvic floor is important because your pelvic floor supports your bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum. However, once you become pregnant, your growing baby's weight can slowly weaken your pelvic floor, leading to leaking or pain during physical activities, and sometimes even during sex. A strong pelvic floor makes giving birth much easier, prevents leaking when you're pregnant, and also improves your sex life during your pregnancy.
Here are some ways of how you can strengthen it:
How can you strengthen your pelvis?
First off, the easiest and most straightforward way of strengthening your pelvis would be to do kegel exercises.
Kegel exercises are done by contracting your pelvic muscles, and holding them for five seconds, and then relaxing them for 5 seconds. Do this 10-20 times a day, and you'll keep your pelvic muscles strong. The muscles that you use when doing kegel exercises are the same muscles that you use when you're peeing, so you'll know if you're doing it correctly.
Another way of strengthening your pelvis would be to do Pilates. According to research, doing 1-2 hours of Pilates can help strengthen your pelvic floor along with a lot of core muscles in your back, abs, as well as your hips. Pilates also has the added benefit of improving your breathing, so it's a good form of exercise to do, even if you don't have any pelvic floor disorders.
Lastly, if you're still having some issues, you can talk to your OB/GYN and ask about what forms of therapy you can do in order to strengthen your pelvic muscles. There are also other treatments which include electric stimulation, and prescription medication that can help you address any problems with your pelvic floor.
Keep yourself fit and healthy
Even if you're not pregnant, or if you haven't given birth, it's important to strengthen your pelvic floor. Doing kegel exercises as a part of your daily exercise routine can help prevent any problems later on should you and your husband choose to have a child. A strong pelvic floor provides support for when you're carrying your baby, and helps a lot when it comes to a natural birth.
Kegel exercises are also helpful when it comes to your sex life, as it helps women achieve orgasm faster, and can thus make you and your husband's lovemaking much more pleasurable and intimate.
A proper diet and enough exercise also does wonders for your body, so it's important to have a holistic approach when it comes to your wellness.