IF YOU ARE A RUNNER, BECOME AWARE OF HOW IT AFFECTS RUNNING YOUR PELVIC FLOOR, AND LEARN TO TAKE CARE OF IT TO PREVENT PROBLEMS SUCH AS LOSS OF URINE OR ORGAN PROLAPSE.
According to Kathrine Switzer, the first runner to participate in a marathon in the United States, “the simple gesture of putting one foot in front of the other can change your life”. If you are one of those women who run , you know that this exercise is not only a test of mental resistance, but also physical. In addition to the most common injuries, running is a factor of weakening of the pelvic floor for women, which can lead to problems such as urinary incontinence or organ prolapse .
HOW DOES RUNNING AFFECT THE PELVIC FLOOR?
The pelvic floor is a network of muscles and tissues that is in the lower part of the pelvis, and has the function of supporting the pelvic organs: the uterus, bladder and intestines. In addition, the pelvic floor acts by cushioning the pressure coming from the abdomen to the pelvic area (as in sneezing, for example). For all this, it is important to keep the pelvic floor strong and healthy to prevent problems such as loss of urine and improve your intimate health.
Running regularly is one of the risk factors that can damage our pelvic floor. You know why? When running, our whole body receives impacts in a cyclical way for a long time (we speak of an average of 6000 impacts in an hour). In each stride, the impact causes pressure to the pelvic area, and the muscles of the pelvic floor are responsible for cushioning. However, over time, too much pressure causes the pelvic floor to “sag” and weaken. And a weak pelvic floor can lead to problems such as loss of urine (even in young women), discomfort in sexual intercourse , constipation, back pain, and increased risk of organ prolapse.
WHAT DO I DO IF I AM A RUNNER?
If you run regularly, become aware of your pelvic muscles and how running affects you. To maintain the health of your pelvic floor, it is necessary to work specifically on the muscles of the pelvic floor and abdomen. It is the most effective way to compensate for the excess impact and keep it strong.
If you keep practicing running without thinking about its effects, problems can arise such as loss of urine when coughing, sneezing or running or carrying weight. There is also a risk of organ prolapse (organs off their axis or “fallen”). If you have some of these symptoms, your pelvic floor shows signs of weakening. In this case, running is contraindicated because it will worsen its condition and symptoms.
! Is running recommended for me? Do the quiz.
- Download here Bwom , the pelvic floor health app and do the test (1 minute) If your level of attention is 1 or 2, there should be no problem in running. In the app you will find exercise plans to train your pelvic area and prevent problems.
- If your level of attention is 3 or higher we recommend that you go to a specialist (pelvic floor physiotherapist) to assess your health and if running is indicated for you. You can do Bwom exercises, as they are adapted to your needs.
Remember that whatever your level, it is necessary to strengthen the pelvic floor. If you have been recommended to stop running, do not get frustrated! Think that there are many other sports alternatives that will help you stay fit or that will help you to change during the time you rehabilitate your pelvic floor. You can try spinning or yoga or pilates, which will help you strengthen the pelvic area.
HOW CAN I WORK THE PELVIC FLOOR?
To exercise your pelvic floor you do not need appliances or devices, just your body and 10 minutes
In our Bwom app, after doing the test, you will access personalized exercise plans for you according to your needs. The plans consist of different types of exercises, most are kegel exercises and hypopressive abdominal gymnastics . If your goal is to strengthen your pelvic floor to prevent the effects of running, we recommend the ” pelvic floor in shape ” plan.
- Kegel exercises: are voluntary contractions of the musculature of the vagina and pelvic floor. In Bwom we will teach you how to do them.
- The Hypopressive Abdominal Gymnastics , or hypopressive abdominals , are exercises that are performed in specific postures and in apnea. In addition to toning the pelvic floor by their involuntary contractions, they strengthen the abdominal girdle. That is, you will work at the same time a flat and toned belly with a “women friendly” technique, unlike the abdominals of a lifetime, which damage the pelvic floor!
INTEGRATE THE EXERCISES IN YOUR SPORTS ROUTINE
To strengthen the pelvic floor you do not need to reserve a lot of time from your day to day. In fact, if you are a runner or practice sports, you can add them to your stretching exercises that you perform at the end of your training. It will only take you 10 minutes! Help yourself by downloading the Bwom app and, after performing your pelvic floor test, you will get your personalized evaluation and you can start taking care of yourself with personalized exercises.
If you run to improve your physical and emotional well-being, think that training your pelvic area is also necessary for this goal!