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4 Pelvic Floor Exercises That Treat An Overactive Bladder Effectively

4 Pelvic Floor Exercises That Treat An Overactive Bladder Effectively

We all do exercises to stay in shape and have a healthy heart. But did you know that certain exercises can help control an overactive bladder by strengthening your pelvic floor?

Pelvic floor exercises help strengthen the ligaments, muscles, and the nerves that support your bladder and rectum. By strengthening these muscles, you can gain greater control over your bladder and its functions, reducing your risk of incontinence and even improving your core strength. Pelvic floor exercises are highly recommended, particularly over taking medication.

Before you get started, it’s important to know how to do a kegel exercise. To do Kegels, you need to tighten the muscles used to stop urinating (the pelvic muscles) and then release them. It’s that simple!

Let’s take a look at some specific pelvic floor exercises that you can start today!

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1. Legs Up The Wall

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    Do the following steps to perform this yoga move:

    1. Sit on the floor, facing the wall.
    2. Lie down and put your legs up against the wall.
    3. You should now have your back and head on the floor and your legs against the wall.
    4. Stretch out your arms, placing your hands palm up on the floor.
    5. Close eyes and breathe deeply, relaxing into pose.

    According to yoga teacher and physical therapist Bill Gallagher, the change in gravity puts a little pressure on your diaphragm, allowing you to breathe more deeply and to fully relax the pelvic muscles without any fear of leakage.

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    2. Wall Squats

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      How to do wall squats:

      1. Stand with your back against the wall.
      2. Take a breath, tighten your pelvic floor, and lower to a chair-sitting position.
      3. Keep your back against the wall.
      4. Stay in that position for 10 seconds.
      5. Lift yourself back up and release your muscles.
      6. Repeat 10 times.

      This exercise allows you to strengthen not only  your pelvic muscles so that you can better control your bladder function, it is also the perfect exercise to strengthen your upper legs.

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      3. Pillow Stretch

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        To do this pelvic floor exercise:

        1. Lie on the floor on your back.
        2. Place a pillow or rolled-up towel under you lower back.
        3. Stretch your arms out to your sides or directly above your head.
        4. Breathe deeply and relax your pelvic floor muscles.
        5. Continue for 10 to 15 minutes.

        This exercise relaxes your muscles a bit while still stretching and strengthening. The idea with the pillow stretch is that your pelvic bone is higher than your body. The pillow relieves it of the extra weight.

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        4. Bridge

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          Follow these steps to perform the Bridge exercise:

          1. Lie down on the floor.
          2. Bent your knees and place your feet firmly on the floor, lined up with your hips.
          3. Take a breath, tighten your pelvic floor muscles, and push your hips off the floor.
          4. Stay in this position for 10 seconds.
          5. As you lower your hips, relax your pelvic floor muscles.
          6. Repeat 10 times.

          The bridge exercise gives you the opportunity to isolate your pelvic floor muscles so that you can focus on strengthening that area specifically.

          Note of Caution: Always consult a physician before taking on a new workout regime.

          Featured photo credit: Prevention.com via prevention.com

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          Amber Pariona

          EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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          Last Updated on March 2, 2021

          Why You Should Keep a Fitness Journal to Jumpstart Weight Loss

          Why You Should Keep a Fitness Journal to Jumpstart Weight Loss

          As you get started on a fitness journey, you’ve probably looked up the importance of a good exercise regimen, a healthy diet, and a more active lifestyle. What you probably haven’t heard much about is the importance of keeping a fitness journal to keep yourself on track.

          Here is how to get started with a fitness journal and the benefits it will bring.

          How to Start a Fitness Journal

          Starting a fitness journal is simple and easy. You either buy a pre-organized fitness motivation journal or a blank notebook if you are interested in designing your own layout.

          As you get started with your fitness journal, try to include the following.

          Fitness Goals

          Before you even begin to track your workouts, it’s important to clarify what your fitness goals[1] are and the deadline you plan to reach them by. Your goals can include changes in your diet, your exercise routine, or your weight.

          Workout Statistics

          Each time you do a daily workout, write down the date, day of the week, start/end times, the exercises you completed, and the reps of each. This can be altered depending on your specific workout. For example, if you’re a runner, you can write down your average speed while running, your peak heart rate, and your total distance traveled.

          Body Metrics

          In order to track your progress, you’ll need to know specific body measurements. You can include your weight, BMI, length measurements, and calories consumed each day. Then, go back and measure these at least once a month to see how close you are to achieving your fitness goals.

          Diet and Sleep Info

          Your eating and sleeping habits are just as important as your workouts when it comes to fitness. As an added element in your fitness planner, you can keep track of what you eat, your water intake, how long you sleep, and your sleep quality. This can help you identify patterns that can help you work out more effectively.

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          Benefits of Keeping a Fitness Journal

          1. The Key to Celebration

          “Progress equals happiness.” -Tony Robbins

          One of the most encouraging acts you can do in your life is to track your progress. If you’ve set goals, it’s absolutely crucial for you to know if you’re moving any closer.

          As Tony Robbins, a top-notch motivational speaker and author, said: Progress is happiness. It’s one thing to crave progress and another thing to start measuring it. That’s when the workout journal comes in handy.

          When you’re able to see just how far you’ve come by looking back in your fitness journal, you’ll feel more motivated to keep moving forward.

          2. Better Guidance

          “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” -Lucius Annaeus Seneca

          Imagine if a coach could analyze your whole progress, your weaknesses, and your strengths in less than 5 minutes.

          If you have paid to be coached by a professional in the fitness industry, why not make his/her life and your progress easier? If your trainer knows where you’ve been struggling, and where you’ve been excelling, s/he will know how to guide you toward better results.

          3. Reduce Reliance on Willpower

          The last thing we all want is to put more stress on our plates. Why should we consciously note down our progress and add an extra task?

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          A workout book can actually lessen the willpower that we need to get to the gym. The fitness journal takes the decision weight off our shoulders that is needed to start the task.

          When you plan your workouts in advance through your journal, your mind will already have the habit embedded in your routine.

          You can also check out Lifehack’s Fast-Track Class: No More Procrastination. This can help you learn to stop procrastinating and get to the gym when it’s time.

          4. Helps You Face the Truth

          A fitness journal will help you analyze what you’ve really been doing to achieve your fitness goals.

          Some people think they simply have “bad genetics,” yet when they look at what they’ve really been doing through the fitness journal, they may see that their eating and exercise habits haven’t gone in the right direction. This can help eliminate excuses and get you moving on a better path.

          5. Creates Accountability

          By looking at our past achievements, we can set the goal to achieve more. A fitness journal can foster our ambition by keeping us accountable for what we did yesterday and what we plan to do tomorrow.

          6. Recognize Patterns

          Have you ever wondered why you feel a lack of motivation one day and then feel like exercising for two hours on another? A fitness journal can help you see patterns in your behaviors. In the end, what gets measured gets managed.

          7. Experience Joy of Task Completion

          You know that feeling when you cross off something on your to-do list? It’s possible to replicate that same feeling after going to the gym with your fitness journal.

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          If we write down the results of our training, we get a dopamine rush. It makes us feel that we’re in control of our destiny.

          8. Prevent Excuses

          If you’ve noticed that you haven’t made any progress recently, look at your fitness journal. It’s most likely not your genetics.

          If we write our progress down, we can see what works and what doesn’t, which can help prevent excuses.

          9. Minimize Injuries

          Do you feel a sting after doing shoulder exercises? Make a note in your fitness journal.

          Before starting the next workout, go through the old workout and act accordingly. Often, injuries accumulate after multiple workout sessions. We can minimize the occurrence of injuries by writing it down in our journal and noting what isn’t working for our bodies.

          10. Look and Feel Like a Pro

          If you have a fitness journal to track your progress, you’ll feel more dedicated to your workouts overall. Looking and acting like a professional becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

          11. Determine the Value of Your Time

          Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. -Parkinson’s Law

          Parkinson’s Law also applies to your fitness results. If you don’t give your workout a maximum duration, you may not end up using your workout time wisely.

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          Pre-determine the sets, reps, and exercises that you want to do beforehand to make the most of your time.

          12. Focus on You

          While I’m a huge believer in motivation through a competitive spirit and external factors, in the end, this journey is about becoming a better you—a healthier, faster, stronger and better person altogether.

          The fitness journal can help you keep your focus on where it should be—on you. In the end, all the notes that you take are focused on your progress and your decisions.

          Final Thoughts

          The reason most people don’t have a fitness journal is that they assume it’s not worth it. Nothing could be further from the truth.

          There are plenty of reasons to follow a fitness journal. From creating motivation, to helping you stay on track, to being a facilitator for personal growth, having a fitness journal is an absolute necessity if you’re serious about reaching your fitness goals.

          In the end, having a fitness journal for goal setting can really make all the difference for your physical and mental health.

          More on Reaching Your Fitness Goals

          Featured photo credit: dylan nolte via unsplash.com

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