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5 Pelvic Floor Exercises for Women

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by Rachel Timmins (subscribe)
I am a chief writer for Weekend Notes, a copywriter, published poet and Editor of poetry magazine ‘Fruit Salad’ (on hold). I also write children's fiction and inspirational pieces.
Published March 6th 2017
Squeeze them in at the next red light
5 Pelvic Floor Exercises for Women
Traffic lights red
At the next red light, secretly squeeze in your pelvic floor exercises.

The results are in. According to the Continence Foundation of Australia, more than 4.8 million Australians experience difficulty controlling their bladder or bowel. More than half of those are women. Around 50% of all women aged between 45 and 59 suffer some degree of incontinence. But don't be alarmed. Here's how to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and improve your sex life, all while waiting for the lights to change.

You've probably noticed that you sometimes feel irritated when waiting at red lights. Instead, keep calm and scrunch. Doing these exercises in the car will save you time at home as well as give you peace of mind by preventing embarrassing accidents.

What are Pelvic Floor Muscles?

So what are pelvic floor muscles? As you can imagine, they are situated within the pelvis. They are a group of muscles and ligaments that support the bladder, uterus and bowel. The openings for these organs pass through the pelvic floor, the muscles of which attach to the pubic bone and the tail bone. If the muscles are weak, health issues can arise, such as:

Prolapse of the bladder, uterus or bowel

What Causes Weaknesses?

The pelvic floor muscles are powerful, but can be weakened by:

Childbirth: Especially after a long labour, or delivery of a large baby. Further information.
Overweight: Places pressure on the pelvic floor.
Constipation: Due to excessive straining.
Coughing: Excessive coughing causes repetitive straining.
Menopause: Due to changes in hormonal levels.

Easy daily exercises will gradually strengthen weak pelvic floor muscles. Exercising these muscles will also give you control over the action within the vagina, so increasing the sexual pleasure of your partner. Exercises can begin when you are young. If you're already experiencing incontinence, fear not, help is here.

Exercise 1 - The Elevator

You may prefer to practice these exercises at home first, before employing them while waiting at the traffic lights. Or for that matter, in the queue at the bank.

Tighten the muscles you would use to prevent urinating. Slowly raise the muscle scrunch up into the vagina, a bit like an elevator going up. Hold for three to five seconds. Slowly release the muscles in the reverse order. Do not just 'let go' of the scrunch. Over time you can increase the 'hold' time at the top of the elevator for up to eight seconds. Rest for a few moments in between each squeeze. You'll notice that it works best if your bottom is tucked under.

Can be repeated up to ten times per day. If you're unable to get to ten, don't try to force it.

Elevator exterior
The Elevator will build up the strength of your pelvic floor.

Exercise 2 - Express Elevator

As for Exercise 1 without the wait at the top of the elevator. Just a ride to the top and back again as quickly and as strongly as you can. Remember to rest in between scrunches. Can be repeated up to twenty times, three times per day. Well done you, on mastering the power squeeze.

Exercise 3 - Chewing the Cherry

fingers hold grape
Chewing the Cherry exercise, or in this case, a grape.
Rapidly and repeatedly squeeze the outer muscles around the vagina. Imagine you are chewing a cherry with these muscles. Repeat up to twenty times.

Fun fact: the muscles around the outside of your vagina are called 'bulbospongiosus'.

Exercise 4 - The Service Elevator

To prevent incontinence of the back passage use Exercise 1 - The Elevator on the rear part of your anatomy. If you can't perform the scrunches separately, doing them together is fine.

Service elevator ground floor
Don't neglect your back passage.

Exercise 5 - Quick Thinking

Every time you sneeze, cough, lift something heavy or strain the pelvic floor, remind yourself to do some squeezes afterwards.

Further Help

Simply going for a walk is another way to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. If you are having difficulties of any kind, a physiotherapist or medical practitioner can help.

Soon you'll be looking forward to your next red light opportunity. Just don't forget to drive away when the light turns green.
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Why? Keep calm at the next red light and improve your pelvic health and sex life.
When: Any time you think it wouldn’t distract you from something important.
Where: At the traffic lights, in the queue, in front of the tele.
Cost: Free
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