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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.
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.
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.