You May Have... Stress Incontinence
Your life may be busy, but you are rocking it! Whether it’s virtual school, work, family, or spending time zooming with your friends, you do what you can to show up for life. If only your bladder would cooperate. While it doesn't sound like bladder urgency is a problem for you, it sure would be great to be able to go for a run, follow a fitness video, or try some restorative yoga without being nervous about possible waterworks. Especially because sometimes all it takes is a good sneeze to send you running for a quick change of clothing.
The good news? Pelvic floor exercises may be your ticket to bringing your bladder back online.
Did you know that almost half of all women have a problem with bladder leakage at some time in their life? That's a lot of women! But while leaking may be common, it is not "normal". Thankfully there are effective exercises that can help—you don't have to just live with it.
Don't know where to start? No worries—I've got you covered. Below you'll find some simple yet effective exercises to help get you started on the right path. Whether you do exercises on your own or depend on a physical therapist to lead your way, pelvic floor exercises can help you recalibrate your bladder and pelvic strength and help get you dry again.
And once you start to feel more in control, you may just find that you’ve got the confidence to try that new HIIT exercise class, or to sneeze with abandon!
Here are 3 exercises to try from the comfort of home to help you say adios to stress incontinence!
1) Kegels This exercise is famous for a reason—it has an amazing ability to power up your pelvic floor and help keep you dry, and has the research behind it to prove it. (Plus the added bonus of getting to lie down to do it!)
Lie in a comfortable position on your back. Now bend your knees. Contract your pelvic floor muscles up and in, and hold for 3 seconds, then relax for 3 seconds; repeat for 10-15 repetitions, 2 times per day.
Repeat this exercise, but this time hold the contraction for 10 seconds (or as long up to 10 as you can manage), relax for 10 seconds, and repeat for 10 repetitions, 2 times per day. It is important to do both these short- and long-hold kegels for maximum benefit. Remember to breathe throughout!
2) Tummy Tuck This is great for activating the transversus abdominis, the deepest of your four abdominal muscle layers and one of the pelvic floor's most powerful allies.
Start by sitting in good, tall posture with your feet firmly on the floor. Let your tummy fully relax. Now, "tuck" your tummy in by drawing your lower tummy inward; hold for a count of 10 seconds (or as long up to 10 as you can manage). Relax and let tummy muscles fully relax again, for 10 seconds. Repeat for 10 repetitions, twice per day.
(Tip: Focus on moving your tummy, not your spine.)
3) "Knack" This exercise takes your sneeze and faces it head on—it helps work on the timing of powering up your core to protect you from that "achoo" in the nick of time!
Sit up tall in a chair, feet flat on the floor. Pull your pelvic floor muscles up and in (kegel); hold this contraction as you clear your throat. Relax. Repeat 10 times, 2 times per day.
The goal of this exercise is to practice pre-tightening the pelvic floor muscles quickly, prior to the pressure from above such as with a sneeze or clearing your throat. You should feel balanced at your pelvic floor as you clear your throat—no downward pressure.
With practice, your pelvic floor muscles can relearn how to powerfully gather their forces automatically, to combat that sneeze in no time!
Just like a good sour dough bread starter, all good things come to those who wait...It takes patience and consistency to conquer stress incontinence! While you may start seeing improvement in as little as 2 weeks, it may take up to 4-6 weeks to see a big jump in strength and drop in leakage, so stick with it!
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”
― Leo Tolstoy
Remember: it is important to check with your healthcare practitioner BEFORE starting any new exercise program. Certain exercises, such as kegels, are not indicated for everyone. If you have just had a baby, your physician/healthcare provider will tell you when it is safe to return to exercise. If you are unsure if you are doing these exercises correctly or have any pain, stop and discuss with your healthcare practitioner, or schedule a virtual appointment with me.
And who am I to tell you how to fix your bladder? Funny you should ask...
My name is Angela Fishman, and I am a licensed physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor therapy.
I help busy people find peace and confidence in their bladder, core and pelvic floor through online therapy and coaching.
And I’m here to support you, no matter where you’re at on your journey towards pelvic floor health.
Let's get a grip back on your bladder, together.
Thanks for taking my quiz! I hope you found the information helpful 😀 Feel free to share it with your friends and family, because remember—almost half of all women experience leakage!
Looking for more bladder, core, and pelvic floor tips, tricks and support?
1. Head over to my blog! Here's where all the juicy articles live, with specific advice, tips and exercises to help you on your quest for a happier bladder, core, and pelvic floor. Subscribe to get all the latest!
2. Follow me on Facebook! where I post articles, research, and tips about your bladder and pelvic floor health each week and answer questions.
3. Hop on a free 15 minute call with me! Via telehealth, I'll provide you with a whole bunch of clarity on which direction to head to finally address that bladder leakage! All via a secure and completely confidential video connection.
And look out for me in your inbox...
I’ll be popping in there soon to check in on you, and to share more secrets with you on how to keep your bladder and pelvic floor working in tip top shape.
The information provided on this website is not medical advice. It is only for informational and educational purposes. Please contact your healthcare provider to discuss your health concerns, diagnoses, or treatments. In a medical emergency, call 911.
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