Last month, we started to discuss what Pelvic Floor Therapy is. This month, we’re going to discuss 3 things you can start now to help your pelvic health.
First off, breathe. We start and end life with breath. Yet, with how chaotic life can get we forget how to breathe when we really need to most. How about those moments that stress us? For example, bad traffic, deadlines creeping up at work, or you're running from one activity to the next. It’s common to start breathing shallowly in response to these things. You might even be holding your breath. The thing is your pelvic floor works together with your diaphragm, your primary breathing muscle. Not only will taking good deep breaths stimulate your “rest & digest” system creating relaxing vibes but your pelvic floor will be happy and less tense.
Next thing you can do is be more mindful. Check in with yourself throughout the day. Are you holding tension? Are you sucking in your abdominals to appear thinner? Clenching your butt muscles? How about grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw? All these habits can lead to keeping your system in “fight or flight” mode. Your pelvic floor muscles are natural threat responders. It's the first thing to respond if something scares you on TV or your class spills over and you try to catch it. Even when your kid or grandkid jumps on you unexpectedly. Your pelvic floor doesn’t know how to scale any of this. It's an anticipatory muscle and will activate when prompted. But when we are constantly living in a state of fight or flight, and holding tension, that can potentially lead to pelvic floor dysfunction. So, check in with yourself 3 times a day and become more aware of your own patterns.
Lastly, drink more water! Yes. Staying hydrated has multiple benefits. The gold standard is half your body weight in ounces. Ever see the sign in the bathroom with the different colors of yellow to note your hydration level? The more yellow and dark your urine, the more concentrated it is which can irritate the bladder lining. This can cause increased urgency and frequency of urination, therefore more trips to the bathroom. In addition, drinking more water can also manage constipation. Not getting enough water can lead to straining to have a bowel movement. So grab that water bottle, or even get a new one! Fill it with water and take it wherever you go to sip throughout the day and stay hydrated.