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!
1. Legs Up The Wall
Do the following steps to perform this yoga move:
- Sit on the floor, facing the wall.
- Lie down and put your legs up against the wall.
- You should now have your back and head on the floor and your legs against the wall.
- Stretch out your arms, placing your hands palm up on the floor.
- 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.
2. Wall Squats
How to do wall squats:
- Stand with your back against the wall.
- Take a breath, tighten your pelvic floor, and lower to a chair-sitting position.
- Keep your back against the wall.
- Stay in that position for 10 seconds.
- Lift yourself back up and release your muscles.
- 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.
3. Pillow Stretch
To do this pelvic floor exercise:
- Lie on the floor on your back.
- Place a pillow or rolled-up towel under you lower back.
- Stretch your arms out to your sides or directly above your head.
- Breathe deeply and relax your pelvic floor muscles.
- 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.
Follow these steps to perform the Bridge exercise:
- Lie down on the floor.
- Bent your knees and place your feet firmly on the floor, lined up with your hips.
- Take a breath, tighten your pelvic floor muscles, and push your hips off the floor.
- Stay in this position for 10 seconds.
- As you lower your hips, relax your pelvic floor muscles.
- 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