Getting fit – inside and out

This is a sponsored post.

Is it just me or has every Tom, Dick and Harry in the known universe taken up running as a new year’s resolution?

I swear if I see one more picture in my Facebook feed of someone’s new kicks or a snapshot of how far they’ve run and how many calories they’ve burnt, I will spontaneously combust.

In a moment of lunacy the other day, I dug out my gym shoes. I thought that if everyone else is doing this running palaver, I could too.

I’m sick of blobbing around on the sofa eating Sara Lee Belgian chocolate puddings with an oozy raspberry centre … um, sorry, where was I? Oh, that’s right. I’m sick of blobbing around on the sofa stuffing my face. I want to get fit too.

The reason I hate seeing these pictures of hot, sweaty and happy faces in my Facebook feed is because I’m green with envy. So, I dug out my gym shoes, dusted off the cobwebs and this is what I found. It pretty much says it all.

pelvic floor

Just can’t do it!

Who am I kidding anyway? I can’t run. Running has never been my forte, but since having kids and going through premature menopause running is now officially my worst nightmare. I can’t even chase the kids around the backyard without wetting my pants. Instead of calling out ‘tag, you’re it,’ I’m calling out, ‘Hang on, mummy’s wet her knickers again’. My three-year-old even suggested once that I put on a nappy.

It’s embarrassing and depressing and it’s so easy to fall into the belief that this is my life now – panty liners one day, gigantic adult nappies the next.

It doesn’t have to be that way though. While everyone I know is focusing on flat tummies and toned thighs, my fitness journey needs to start from within.

My new year’s resolution needs to be focused on getting the ol’ lady bit fit first and then we can focus on the rest of the body later.

Toward the end of last year, I was going great guns with the PeriCoach system – a medical device which you insert to assist you with and train you how to do your pelvic floor exercises. But, as soon as the holiday season was upon us I became slack. I haven’t used my PeriCoach for a couple of months and I can tell the difference.

Getting my pelvic floor health back on track is one resolution I intend to keep in 2016. Having a healthy pelvic floor will impact on all areas of my life, emotional, physical and mental. It’s a no brainer that I need to get focused on this.

Did you know that a staggering 70 per cent of Australians do not seek medical advice or treatment for their bladder leakage? That’s a whole lot of people out there thinking it’s okay to pee their pants after childbirth and menopause. It’s not normal and you shouldn’t have to put up with it.

If you suffer from bladder leakage, please don’t ‘pad the problem’. Don’t hide in embarrassment. Seek help. Make this your new year’s resolution. We all know January is just a dress rehearsal for the real start of the year, February, don’t we?!

To show you just how easy it is to make a difference to your pelvic floor health, I have Women’s Health physiotherapist Annette Innes to share her top five tips for strengthening pelvic floor muscles.

Ensure you are doing a correct and optimal exercise technique
If you are unsure, see a Continence and Women’s Health Physiotherapist; locate the nearest to you: https://www.physiotherapy.asn.au/APAWCM/Controls/FindAPhysio.aspx.

Try the ‘Stop the Flow” test
Stop the flow of urine midstream but NOT first thing in the morning when you have a full bladder and strong flow, only once per wee, and make sure you can start again to finish passing your urine. This is only a test, and should not be done more than once per week. It is not always an indication of your pelvic floor muscle strength, but provides awareness of the muscles for some people.

Set aside some time each day for pelvic floor exercises
You will need to focus to do a correct contraction at first, so traffic lights may not be safe! Some women do their exercises at a toilet stop after a wee – when wiping, while sitting, while standing, and walking to wash their hands. Those who persist are those who will succeed!

Don’t try too hard
It is important to localise your exercise to the muscles around your vagina and urethra. Your neck, eyebrows, chest and upper abdominals are not attached to the pelvic floor and will waste your valuable energy – keep breathing!

Try a home biofeedback device
This can be used for self-assessment and motivation; PeriCoach was developed in consultation with healthcare professionals.

What do you think? Not a bad place to start, right?

While those of us with pelvic floor issues won’t be running anytime soon, it doesn’t mean exercise has to be completely off limits. I swim regularly and have also just stumbled across award-winning Australian fitness presenter Marietta Mehanni who has some great pelvic floor-friendly exercises.

You can read more about my pelvic floor journey in the Pants wetters club and Time to squeeze so you can sneeze.

Mummy Wife Me received financial compensation for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Do you have pelvic floor issues? Have you sought professional help?

Linking up with Essentially Jess today for IBOT.

60 comments on Getting fit – inside and out

  1. Lydia C. Lee
    February 2, 2016 at 6:14 am (1 year ago)

    Whenever I read anything about pelvic floor I start madly doing kegels…ha!

    Reply
  2. JF Gibson
    February 2, 2016 at 6:20 am (1 year ago)

    One word: pilates. 😉

    Reply
  3. Nicole@ The Builders Wife
    February 2, 2016 at 6:31 am (1 year ago)

    I really need to make this a focus in my own life. I am happy to get out and start running, but the old pelvic floor is always forgotten about. Writing on my daily to do list now!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:06 am (1 year ago)

      Good on you, Nicole. Don’t ignore the pelvic floor 😉

      Reply
  4. Amy @ HandbagMafia
    February 2, 2016 at 6:44 am (1 year ago)

    I feel for you Renee- that must be so frustrating. Pelvic strength is so important and rarely spoken about- good on you!

    Reply
  5. Bec
    February 2, 2016 at 6:49 am (1 year ago)

    This must be so frustrating. I’m glad there’s at least something that can be done to improve it. #TeamIBOT

    Reply
  6. Cam @ Gen-Y Mum
    February 2, 2016 at 7:35 am (1 year ago)

    Renee if you need some guidance with your fitness, I know a wonderful trainer who has been through what you went through. She suffered from early menopause after her 2nd child and wanted to get her health back on track. She noticed no one had any knowledge on how to train her and educate her on her condition, after all a lot of the trainers were young or male. So she became a trainer herself and really focus on women’s health, in particular, older aged and women who’ve had children. She is based in Sydney but I’m sure you guys can talk or email. Anyways I’m working with her with some of my issues and I can’t recommend her enough. Her wisdom alone, sometimes we just talk more than train.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:08 am (1 year ago)

      Cam, thanks so much for this info. I could really do with some advice from her on exercise. I’ll touch base with you later in the day to get her details. Thanks again. Very kind of you.

      Reply
  7. Bec Senyard
    February 2, 2016 at 7:43 am (1 year ago)

    Great post Renee. I’ve been jumping on the trampoline with great success but it can’t hurt to practice my pelvic floor with some exercises. X

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:08 am (1 year ago)

      Yes, it’s important to keep the exercises up even if you have a strong pelvic floor x

      Reply
  8. Natalie @ our parallel connection
    February 2, 2016 at 8:03 am (1 year ago)

    I am one of the 70%. Having pushed out 4 kids, things are as strong as they use to be. If I exercise in the morning before fluid, all good. Late afternoon… Not so good

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:09 am (1 year ago)

      That’s fantastic, Natalie. You’re one of the lucky ones 🙂

      Reply
  9. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    February 2, 2016 at 8:29 am (1 year ago)

    It’s so important that you’ve started the conversation and as frustrating as it is, it’s so good that there’s something that can be done about it. I’m sure you’ll be up and running in no time 🙂

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:10 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks lovely. It’s something that I’ll constantly have to work at, but I’ll get there 🙂

      Reply
  10. Neets
    February 2, 2016 at 9:15 am (1 year ago)

    You are hilarious Renee (about the running posts) I was bad after my first 2 but spent a lot of time on my pelvic floor after my third and it made such a difference. Let’s chant together, “don’t ignore your pelvic floor”.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:11 am (1 year ago)

      Lol. That reminds of that book – Are you there God, it’s me Margaret – when she starts chanting I must I must I must increase my bust lol!

      Reply
  11. Deb @inner compass designs
    February 2, 2016 at 9:48 am (1 year ago)

    I am in this boat too. I tried using biofeedback at a specialist physio but am so bad I could not even feel it. I keep meaning to buy my own machine and try again. Having 2 kids close together destroyed my pelvic floor (and the fact that I never did kegel exercises oops)

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:13 am (1 year ago)

      I feel for you, Deb. I really do because your situation sounds similar to mine. I found using the pericoach in the comfort of my own home helps rather than being under pressure at the physio. Was she able to give you any other advice to improve your situation?

      Reply
  12. Vicki @ Boiled Eggs & Soldiers
    February 2, 2016 at 11:50 am (1 year ago)

    My pelvic floor was shot after 2 babies close together even though they were tiny. I’ve had an operation but still need to do the exercises!!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:13 am (1 year ago)

      Did things improve after the operation, Vicki? I’m curious to know.

      Reply
  13. Josefa @always Josefa
    February 2, 2016 at 12:14 pm (1 year ago)

    Love Lydia’s comment! Was about to say that same thing 🙂

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:14 am (1 year ago)

      I have that effect on people 🙂

      Reply
  14. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    February 2, 2016 at 12:32 pm (1 year ago)

    I think being fit makes a huge difference. I’ve just donned my walkers back on and am slowly walking myself back into shape, it’ll take a while but I’ll get there and hopefully another outcome will be kick-ass PV muscles!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:15 am (1 year ago)

      Good on you! Yep, getting started can be the biggest challenge. As soon as it gets cooler I might start with some walking too 🙂

      Reply
  15. EssentiallyJess
    February 2, 2016 at 2:02 pm (1 year ago)

    I love the way you are so honest about this. And you make me laugh too. 🙂
    My PV are pretty okay, but they can always do with an improvement.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:15 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks Jess. You’re doing well after four kids!

      Reply
  16. Emily
    February 2, 2016 at 2:06 pm (1 year ago)

    Thanks for your honesty. I love running but I have to go for my run first thing in the morning, before I start on my daily minimum 8 glasses of water! That’s not a pelvic floor thing (although it’s probably not in the best shape, either) but a kidney disease/weakening bladder thing.
    Those shoes. HA! And the caption. Just don’t do it. You are hilarious. Good luck on your fit from within journey. x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:17 am (1 year ago)

      Ah yes, you have a lot going on with your body. Running first thing sounds like a good idea, although I think I’ll leave the running to you 🙂 x

      Reply
  17. Kathy
    February 2, 2016 at 3:18 pm (1 year ago)

    Great informative post Renee. I know pilates works and I’d like to say yoga, but certain postures. And hey, you have got a great excuse NOT to run. You go girl.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:17 am (1 year ago)

      Woohoo!! Yes, I really need to get into the pilates. Now to find the time 🙂

      Reply
  18. Hugzilla
    February 2, 2016 at 7:08 pm (1 year ago)

    Oh I LOVE running and do it almost every day but I’m not one of those wankers that posts pictures of their activewear and their jogging routes. My pelvic floor is utter shit since having kids but slowly getting better. Trampolining is still out though…

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:18 am (1 year ago)

      You make me laugh. I shouldn’t be so judgmental of those active wearing hotties. I’m just so jealous lol.

      Reply
  19. Tegan
    February 2, 2016 at 10:09 pm (1 year ago)

    Paul doesn’t believe me when I say that I can do pelvic floor exercises while sitting on the couch. My pelvic floor is pretty good thankfully. I still won’t be jogging any time soon though, I just never feel comfortable doing it.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 6:19 am (1 year ago)

      Yeah, I know what you mean. Even with a strong pelvic floor running wasn’t for me. It made my shoulder hurt lol.

      Reply
  20. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    February 3, 2016 at 6:16 am (1 year ago)

    Oh Renee, your runners make me giggle so much!!! I’m totally with you – it’s all about what’s going on on the inside that counts!!! I really need to start doing pelvic floor exercises!!

    Reply
  21. Denise
    February 3, 2016 at 8:20 am (1 year ago)

    You will be up and running in no time Renee – though hopefully not posting pics of your trainers and calories on Facebook (WTF by the way). Great conversation to have. Mine isn’t too bad right now – I can run – but I know I need to watch it as I get older. I never remember to do those exercises either which doesn’t help matters.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 9:41 pm (1 year ago)

      Yep, it really is hard to remember to do those dang exercise, but so important to try 🙂

      Reply
  22. Erika @ Ever-changing Life of a Mum
    February 3, 2016 at 9:20 am (1 year ago)

    I need to read more articles like this because as soon as I do I start doing my pelvic floor exercises! After three kids my pelvic floor isn’t too bad surprising, not great, but it’s holding up ok 🙂 I’m not a runner either, never have been, but now that bubs is 10 months old I am about to dust off my sneakers and start to consider doing a little more exercise to get back into shape and overall just to feel a little healthier on the inside. Wish me luck!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 9:42 pm (1 year ago)

      Oh good luck, Erika, and good on you. Glad to hear you’re doing well after three kids. Sooo lucky 🙂 x

      Reply
  23. Jo @ You had us at hello
    February 3, 2016 at 12:33 pm (1 year ago)

    Haha! Everyone does seem to be getting fit and healthy this year hey!? Even TV programs are telling us often about how bad sugar is – so much so I’ve quit it! Feels pretty damn good too 🙂 Running is ok but I cannot handle trampolines with the kids – dammit! Thanks for reminding me to practice strengthening those pelvic floor muscles xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 9:43 pm (1 year ago)

      Lol! Good on you for quitting sugar. I’ve done it a couple of times. I think my max time off was about a year. It’s hard at first, but once you get into it the results are great xx

      Reply
  24. Denyse Whelan Blogs
    February 3, 2016 at 4:44 pm (1 year ago)

    Oh I read this and really feel for you. I know it can be hard to get motivated and then to keep on exercising. I know about the kegels and I know “blah blah” about more fitness but sheesh without motivation, forget it! My DD, however, needed surgery after 4 kids (last one at 41) and then a hysterectomy…still didnt help with bladder leakage ALL. THE. TIME. and finally had to go in for second surgery last year. Cross fingers she’s all good. Being a woman has its moments…Denyse .

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 9:44 pm (1 year ago)

      It sure does, Denyse!! I really feel for your daughter. I’m crossing my fingers that this second surgery works for her. It must be so upsetting for her.

      Reply
  25. Nadia
    February 3, 2016 at 7:52 pm (1 year ago)

    I always think giving birth is like lotto – but the screwed up kind. There is always some sort of after-having-kids issue… wetting your pants, saggy boobs, excess skin around the middle. Amongst other things, I got carpal tunnel in my hands – there goes my ability to knit or drive long distances (a bit of a bugger when living in the country!)

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 3, 2016 at 9:45 pm (1 year ago)

      That is not good at all, Nadia. I’ve heard carpal tunnels can be quite painful. I hope there’s something you can do to try to improve it.

      Reply
  26. Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad
    February 6, 2016 at 7:07 am (1 year ago)

    Bloody pelvic floors! I mean really, do we have to have them??? Why were they designed so that we had to do something to keep them in tip top, non leaky shape??? Such a pain! These kinda posts are always a good reminder for me to get clenching because so far I’m doing okay in the leakage department but it may not stay that way right? And don’t worry, definitely no running going on here : )xxx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2016 at 6:13 am (1 year ago)

      I know!!! They are a mega pain. Grrr. I wish they’d just bloody look after themselves 🙂 x

      Reply
  27. Sonia Life Love Hiccups
    February 8, 2016 at 8:27 pm (1 year ago)

    Yep this is definitely an exercise I am not really good at – hahaha who I am kidding. I am not really good at any exercise but this one is at the top of my priority list – for obvious reasons. Hey I’m doing my Kegals as I write this. WINNER xx

    Reply
  28. Grace
    February 10, 2016 at 6:34 pm (1 year ago)

    I try and do the “Stop the Flow” test whenever I can remember. Doing pelvic floor exercises is one of those things we can easily forget how vital they actually are…until of course, it’s too late. Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 12, 2016 at 6:10 am (1 year ago)

      No worries, Grace 🙂

      Reply
  29. Heart
    February 12, 2016 at 1:04 am (1 year ago)

    I tried the “Stop the Flow” test once and good thing I did it! Yehey!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 12, 2016 at 6:10 am (1 year ago)

      Lol!! Good on you 🙂

      Reply

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