We are going to be discussing what are the best physical activities and practices that also help improve your pelvic floor health! This is going to vastly vary among people due to everyone has their own pelvic floor journey.
As a physical therapist, and someone with an exercise physiology background, I am a strong advocate of physical wellness. There are too many benefits to deny that exercise is good for the human body.
There is significant research behind exercise helping with:
We could seriously go on, and on, and on, and on… about all the benefits that exercise and physical activity can serve you. One of the biggest benefits that I did not mention in that list – was a longer lifespan. I don’t know how many more reasons you need to get active today!
Your pelvic health will improve when you begin to implement certain physical activities. Now, one statement as a disclaimer, please remember that if you have a pelvic floor dysfunction then you should talk to your PFPT (pelvic floor physical therapist) about what activities will best support your current situation.
Ok, now that we have that part out of the way, let’s start talking about physical activities, aka: exercise!
Yoga is known for its slower pace, relaxed setting and becoming “in tune” with the body. All of those aspects make it a fantastic choice of activity for people with chronic pelvic pain or a tight pelvic floor. However, I do think it is important to make note that yoga can be as difficulty or as restorative as you make it depending on the class that you take. It is very easy to take a Hatha Flow or Power Yoga class that can challenge your heart rate, breath work, and range of motion of your body. PFPT’s often use a yoga style of rehabilitation to help downtrain the nervous system or help relax pelvic floor muscles. I would highly recommend yoga to my clients that have high stress jobs, or have difficulty with stress management in general. Yoga helps you tune your movements to your breath, and bring increased awareness into your body.
Pilates is a style of exercise that was born from a man searching for rehabilitation to take his life back. Joseph Pilates created the reformer and the Pilates Method that became his legacy. Pilates is can be performed at home or in a studio on a reformer, but traditionally it is a low volume, bodyweight driven style of exercise. Do not be deceived, it can be extremely challenging! Core strength and stability are are key foundations in movements of the Pilates Method, so naturally these would be a constant focus of the class. Pilates is often very popular among dancers, gymnasts, and women in general for it’s low volume of resistance and body-weight style of movements.
Barre is a unique form of exercise that derives strongly from ballet, as well as having influence from both yoga and pilates! Barre can strongly vary depending on which studio or class you attend. My personal favorite barre style is from Barre3 due to the fact that a board of doctors and physical therapists had a say in the design of the company, and training of instructors. Although you will not find any weights higher than 5-8 pounds in these classes, you will be sweating by the time you are done! The pace of class is normally fast, and counts of reps are to the beat of the music. You will likely feel like you are back in a fun dance class!
Good ole fashioned strength training. This is going to encompass weight lifting, general fitness, personal training, metabolic conditioning, or cross-fit. Strength training is invaluable, and research tells us that there are very few methods of exercise that can compare to strength training in regards of benefits. If you perform a strength training routine optimally you will: elevate your heart rate (cardiovascular benefit), improve your bone density, build more muscle, and it will also carryover into endurance. If you have a weak muscle, then the only way to strengthen it is to challenge it. I use strength training with every single client I have because I firmly believe in the power of exercise and the benefits it can have in a life!
Honestly though, I could recommend every type of exercise or boutique fitness experience in the world. None of it matters if you do not enjoy it!! You need to feel good about yourself when you are done, and have that feeling of joy. You should look forward to exercising and not dread the time you spend doing it.
Does that sound like your current experience? Do you dread spending time exercising or just feel like it’s not what it used to be for you anymore?…
I completely understand, sometimes we all go through a temporary phase in life where it all just feels hard. Maybe there is something keeping you from trying out a new class, or fitness experience with other moms. I just want you to know that there is a solution to your problem, and a guide that can help you return to how you used to feel about physical activity! If this sounds like you and you want that help, then please email me your personal situation at: email@example.com
I would absolutely love to be of service to you and help you achieve the lifestyle you have always wanted.
Once again, if you enjoyed this please let me know below and I look forward to helping you find joy in wellness!