Having run with women for a number of years, I get to hear about all sorts of problems that a lot of people don’t talk about, as you know I am a very open book and I’m happy to talk about things that other people may be a little bit embarrassed about. So I’m putting it out there…..leaking wee when exercising! Yep loosing control of your bladder when taking part in high impact exercise, this can be running, jumping or lifting heavy weights, all of these are considered high impact on the pelvic floor. Most of us may not have heard of our pelvic floor until we had children and sure enough we know about it now.
High impact sports lead to increased intra-abdominal pressure and this can lead to the symptoms of pelvic floor disorders, so basically any time a person engages in such high impact activity, the pelvic floor muscles are activated as part of the core muscle group. So vigorous training puts the pelvic floor muscles at risk of fatigue, making them weaker and vulnerable to involuntary leakage of urine when running or jumping. And even though it is quite common it isn’t normal as the symptoms are unpleasant to experience much less discus so therefore women tend not to seek help and just put it down to having children or getting older.
There is help though, you can seek medical help so that you can be fully assessed on the weakness of your pelvic floor but you can also help yourself.
Tiny moves make a big difference
There is a debate on how effective Kegel exercises are but I think they are worth a go as this small movement may make a big difference. This movement is the repetitive contracting and relaxing of your pelvic floor muscles, in other words the muscles responsible for controlling your bladder. To do them, squeeze your pelvic muscles like you’re stopping the flow of urning and try not to tense up your abs or glues at the same time. Hold for a few seconds, release and work up to a set of 10….you can do these anywhere, anytime.
This will help you activate and strengthen your pelvic floor, movements like bridges, squats and planks all engage the core muscles, which is very different from just sucking your tummy in, and these in turn will strengthen your pelvic floor.
Cut out Caffeine
Caffeine is a diuretic, stimulant and a bladder’s worst enemy, stick to water or herbal tea and forget the Costa’s for a while.
Pelvic floor disorders are easily treatable as any other muscle weakness so see what works for you and don’t be embarrassed about seeking medical help.