Women - Getting Healthy and Strong
As a young girl begins her journey to womanhood, her body will change tremendously. She will go through puberty and begin menstruating. At some time in her 20s and 30s she may decide to use birth control which will alter her hormonal balance. Someday she will have a baby which will forever change her body. As this woman ages, her body will stop menstruation and will begin to shift yet again.
Female pelvic health is a topic that isn't talked about too much even amongst women. The pelvic muscles lay deep in the body and surround the sexual organs in both men and women. These muscles are responsible for urination and stooling and weakness in these muscles will lead to problems with urinary and stool incontinence. Weakness in the pelvic floor can lead to pain and painful sexual experiences.
After injury or giving birth, if the abdominal core muscles are weak and this is often the case, the pelvic floor will become weak. Muscles that support a healthy pelvic floor include the hip joint muscles, the buttocks, the small muscles of the back and primarily the lower abdominal muscle called the transversus abdominus. This can affect men too as they age. In additon, increasing obesity and sedentary lifestyles are making our overall muscle tone weaker and thus there is more pelvic dysfunction.
Pelvic floor weakness in pre-pubertal children can lead to difficulties with toilet training, bedwetting and difficulties with gross motor development especially when the core muscles are weak too. While genetics plays a role in younger children with pelvic dysfunction, some of this can be attributed to increasingly sedentary lifestyles in children as well especially with the advent of more and more screen time.
What can be done? Indeed, keep calm and do pelvic excercises. If you are having pelvic pain, having difficulties with urination or stooling at any age, your child is having trouble with toilet training or bedwetting, working with a pelvic floor therapist ~ physical therapist, chiropractor or yoga teacher who is knowledgeable can be really valuable.
So, for women, particularly after giving birth, excercises geared to strengthen the body will also strengthen the mind and can help ward off post-partum depression which can be quite serious. Walking, yoga, swimming are all great options post-natally with yoga being able to really hone in on bringing the pelvic floor into play by engaging these muscles in a variety of poses.
This blog, over the course of 2018, will continue to bring more awareness to a little known and talked about part of our body - the pelvic floor and its muscles.
Post Natal Yoga begins at Whole Yoga & Wellness on Monday, February 5th at 7:30p for a six week session to strength the body and mind. This class is appropriate for all women giving birth within the past year. No yoga experience is necessary and nursing babies are welcome. Men are welcome too as this class will help build your core and strengthen your pelvic muscles too! To learn more and register, go to www.wholekidspediatrics.com/yoga-and-wellness.