Healthy Body for Life

Our bodies are amazing creations, capable of amazing things. Taking the time to really nurture your body is essential to a keeping it strong and resilient. Core training is talked about everywhere, but it is so much more than a flat belly and ripped abs. Proper core training should include work on posture, breathing, back and abdominal muscles, as well as pelvic floor muscles.

is the name of the group of muscles that run like a hammock from front to back at the base of the pelvis. The pelvic floor functions as a support your pelvic organs (uterus, bladder and rectum), as a sphincter to maintain bladder and bowel control, and is also important in sexual function.

is the name of the contraction or exercise that tightens the pelvic floor muscles.  To do a kegel properly, the muscles around the vagina and anus should feel like they are squeezing and lifting upward.  You should be able to breathe throughout the exercise.  This is the same squeeze you would do to stop yourself from passing gas or to interrupt the urine stream.

is one of the most important, but often missing links, when it comes to maintaining or restoring pelvic floor and core health.  Try taking a long, slow breath in. Fill the lower lobes of the lungs first, then the middle chest, then the upper chest.  As you exhale, reverse the sequence.  During exercise or daily tasks, practice gently drawing your lower tummy muscles and pelvic floor muscles inward (like a kegel) while fully exhaling.  This”exhale on effort” concept is super important in safely doing activity while protecting your pelvic floor and core.

are a fantastic way to functionally boost the muscle activation and strength in the pelvic floor, when done appropriately.  Start with a stance that positions feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Keeping your weight pushing through your heels but maintaining good contact with the ball of your foot to the floor, drop your hips down and back. No tucking your booty under or rounding your back. Shoulders should stay relaxed, back straight, tummy engaged and shins fairly upright.  And most importantly…BREATHE! Push that breathe out strongly as you come back up to standing.

…are another fabulous exercise to functionally engage your pelvic floor muscles, while strengthening your hips, buttocks, and legs.  Add a variety of directions and styles, mix up the resistance and distance to really challenge yourself.