Why and how should I strengthen my pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles rather like a hammock, stretching from the pubis to the coccyx. It supports the organs inside the lower abdomen. This set of muscles has a key role in controlling the bladder, the sphincters (circular muscles) and movement through the intestines. It needs to have good tone to prevent urinary incontinence.
- There are several factors that could weaken the pelvic floor muscles:
- age-related loss of muscle tone
- lack of exercise
- surgery on the lower abdomen
Keeping your pelvic floor toned will give you better bladder control. As with all muscles, the message is “use it or lose it”!
- Here is an exercise to do every day, to strengthen your pelvic floor.
- Sit with your back straight or lie down. Your tummy, thighs and buttocks must be relaxed.
- Now imagine that you are urinating and you want to stop the flow: for this, you squeeze various muscles of the pelvic floor that close the sphincters. These are the muscles that need strengthening.
- Keep squeezing for 5 seconds.
- Relax for 10 seconds.
- Start again.
Repeat this exercise several times every day. After two or three weeks you should feel your muscles getting stronger.
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