The Ultimate Guide to Strengthening Your Pelvic Floor
For many people, the idea of pelvic floor exercises may bring to mind an image of women’s health or pregnancy. However, both men and women can benefit from taking care of their pelvic floor. A strong pelvic floor helps with bladder and bowel control, sexual function, and overall physical well-being. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the importance of pelvic floor strength and give you practical advice for how to strengthen your pelvic floor.
The Importance of Pelvic Floor Strength: A Comprehensive Guide to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, uterus, and rectum. These muscles control the release of urine, feces, and gas, and also maintain sexual function. If these muscles become weak, it can lead to incontinence or loss of control over the bowels. Poor pelvic floor function can also cause pelvic pain, erectile dysfunction, and other complications.
While some people are born with weaker pelvic floor muscles, others experience this issue due to pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, or age. However, it is possible to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, either through certain exercises or lifestyle changes.
Some of the ways you can improve on your pelvic floor strength include:
- Pelvic floor exercises
- General exercise
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Avoiding heavy lifting
- Quitting smoking
6 Simple Pelvic Floor Exercises You Can Do Anywhere to Improve Your Bladder Control and Overall Health
The pelvic floor exercises are sometimes known as Kegels. They work by contracting the muscles of the pelvic floor as if you’re holding in urine. Here are six exercises you can do anywhere, at any time:
- The short squeeze: Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles quickly and then relax them. Repeat this ten times.
- The long squeeze: Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for a few seconds, then relax. Repeat this ten times.
- The double squeeze: Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles twice in a row, then relax. Repeat ten times.
- The pulse: Squeeze and release your pelvic floor muscles rhythmically ten times in a row.
- The hold: Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and hold for as long as possible (up to ten seconds). Relax and rest for ten seconds. Repeat five times.
- The reverse: Instead of squeezing, try to release your pelvic floor muscles as if you were passing urine. Repeat ten times.
Remember that these exercises should always be done correctly for maximum effect. Here are a few tips to ensure proper form:
- Breathe normally while exercising
- Do not engage your gluteus muscles or legs while doing Kegels
- Try not to push down instead of squeezing in
- Commit to your routine and do not over-exhaust yourself
From Kegels to Squats: A Variety of Exercises to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor
In addition to the basic Kegels, there are many other exercises that can help strengthen your pelvic floor. These include:
If you want to incorporate more intense pelvic floor exercises into your routine, get the advice of a professional first. This is especially important if you have had surgery or injuries in the past.
How to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor at Home with These Easy Tricks and Tips
The best way to successfully incorporate exercises for pelvic floor health is to make them part of your daily routine. Here are some tips to help make pelvic floor exercises a habit:
- Set a reminder on your phone or calendar to do them at the same time each day
- Attach them to another habit you already have, such as doing them before breakfast or after a shower
- Write down your exercise routine and keep it somewhere visible
- Enlist a partner to remind you or even join in on the exercises
The Top Foods to Eat for a Stronger Pelvic Floor: A Nutritional Guide
Nutrition also plays a part in achieving a strong pelvic floor. By eating a balanced diet rich in the following foods, you can support a healthy pelvic floor:
- Lean proteins, such as chicken, fish, and beans
- Fruits and vegetables, especially those high in fiber such as berries, kale, and broccoli
- Nuts and seeds, like almonds and chia seeds
- Healthy fats, such as avocados and olive oil
Fixing Your Pelvic Floor: Physical Therapy Treatments to Try at Home or at the Office
If your pelvic floor issues are causing significant pain or difficulty in your day-to-day life, you may want to consider physical therapy. There are many treatments that a physical therapist can suggest to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. They can also provide guidance for exercises or practices you can do at home or in the office. Look for a qualified and registered physical therapist for assessment and guidance.
As we’ve seen, a strong pelvic floor can benefit men and women of all ages and has wide-reaching effects on health and well-being. You can improve your pelvic floor strength by doing exercises, maintaining a healthy weight, and properly nourishing your body. With dedication and time, you can boost bladder control and enjoy a better sex life and overall physical health with a stronger pelvic floor.