Maintaining pelvic health doesn't always require a gym or dedicated workout time. In fact, you can effectively engage and strengthen your pelvic floor with simple exercises that you can do almost anywhere.
Kegels: The Foundation of Pelvic Health
Kegel exercises are the cornerstone of pelvic floor fitness. To perform them, contract your pelvic floor muscles as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine midstream then pull rectum up to pubic bone. Increase hold gradually up to 10 seconds then relax. Repeat this ten times, aiming to increase your hold duration gradually. You can do Kegels while sitting at your desk, waiting in line, or during your favorite TV show.
Deep Breathing and Relaxation
Deep, diaphragmatic breathing can help relax and rejuvenate your pelvic floor. Find a quiet moment and take a few deep breaths. As you inhale, visualize your pelvic floor expanding, and as you exhale, imagine it contracting gently. This exercise can be done in bed before sleep, in the car, or even while walking.
The Elevator Squeeze
The elevator squeeze mimics the sensation of an elevator moving up and down. Begin by gently contracting your pelvic floor muscles, then slowly increase the intensity as if you're taking the elevator to higher floors. Gradually release, descending to the ground floor. This exercise can be done while sitting in a meeting or during your daily commute.
If you have a few moments to lie down, hip bridges are an effective pelvic floor exercise. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground, engaging your glutes and pelvic floor muscles. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your hips back to the ground. Repeat this movement ten times. Hip bridges can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Sitting Pelvic Floor Engagement
This exercise can be performed while sitting in a chair. Start by sitting upright with both feet flat on the floor. Imagine you're lifting your pelvic floor muscles while gently engaging your abdominal muscles. Hold for a few seconds, then release. This discreet exercise is great for engaging all of your abdominal canister and can be done at your desk, in a restaurant, or during a meeting.
Consistency is key, so incorporate these exercises into your daily life. Remember, it's your right to fully understand and care for your body, and these exercises are an essential step on your journey to optimal pelvic health.