In a survey of 2000 women, one of the key reasons women gave for stopping or changing their exercise routine was that of ‘bladder leakage’. As many as one in three women will experience some form of bladder leakage during their lifetime.
The pelvic floor has a key role in controlling the urge to wee and preventing urinary incontinence. If the pelvic floor muscles are unfit, they will be unable to respond when the body moves dynamically. During any type of exercise, but especially with impact exercise, the pelvic floor muscles need to be able to move and protect the pelvic organs, and prevent any leakage of urine.
To strengthen the pelvic floor, a woman needs to perform pelvic floor exercises three times a day, doing as many as 10 sets of 10 second holds and 10 short strong contractions. This should be repeated daily for 12 weeks!
For women who struggle to find the correct muscle there is a new product about to be launched in the UK called Pelviva. It was developed by Julia Herbert, a consultant physiotherapist in bladder, bowel and pelvis floor dysfunction. On their website there is a handy little test to find out the ‘age’ of your pelvic floor, relative to your actual age. Very illuminating! Ladies, give it a go!