Wow! Tonight I was doing some browsing and somehow came across this video from HelloFlo/Poise...  Aside from the funny ladies dancing and jumping around confidently with their special leak proof liners on, this makes me think 2 things....

  1. Do women out there know that peeing while you workout, sneeze, jump, skip, etc is common, but not normal?
  2. Do women know that there are ways to fix urinary incontinence from the inside versus having to count on liners or not exercising for the rest of their lives? This video does a great job at pointing out that urinary incontinence is something that a lot of women deal with.  I can appreciate this as a coach that deals primarily with women and this is an uncomfortable, often embarrassing, and annoying thing to deal with.  Did you know that more than 1 in 4 women deal with a little bit of a pee problem when they jump, sneeze, run, or cough?  This is considered a dysfunction and you don't have to live with this.  It's not normal and while it is common, there are treatment options.  So, before you go bragging about your pee coming out while you do a box jump or you feel the urge to run to the bathroom before/during your next set of double unders, acknowledge that there is something going on with your insides. So what is exactly happening with your insides that's causing you to leak? pelvicfloorsidebyside Well, most likely, you've had a child, or been pregnant, you've suffered an injury, had surgery, or have a weakened pelvic floor from poor posture, imbalances, or lack of exercise.  Actually, the pelvic floor is so fun that you can even have pelvic floor dysfunction for an overactive pelvic floor.  Oh, and this isn't limited to women! Men have this problem too. Anyways, a dysfunctioning pelvic floor is signaling to you that something is definitely up with your insides.  Pelvic floor health is incredibly important.  When our pelvic floor (an interwoven set of muscles that cradle our lower organs like a hammock) becomes weakened and is compromised, many things can quickly go wrong.  These things include -- incontinence, painful intercourse, and urinary tract infections to even things like IT band and low back pain, chronic groin strains, and knee pain.   So how can you work on fixing your pee pee problem?  (And oh Lord help me, please don't say Kegels!) To clarify, Kegels are not a bad thing.  They can certainly help, but kegels are not the answer for everyone, and in my opinion (based off of the knowledge I've collected from women that are much, much smarter than me regarding pelvic floor health) there are some other super simple things you can do which are more beneficial. Here are some things to try at home (quick video of these included below as well):
  1. Take some time to breathe - Most of us don't actually breathe properly and this can cause a number of issues including contributing to pelvic floor dysfunctions.  When we breathe, we should actually be engaging in our diaphragm. If you aren't sure about how to engage your diaphragm, think of just taking some nice big breaths into your belly and NOT into your chest.  You want to breathe in through your nose, mouth closed and relaxed, and let your breath fill your belly.  Once the belly is full with air then you can fill the lungs and chest and throat until there is no more room left for air, and then slowly let that air back out.  Remembering how to breathe properly can not only help you de-stress and reduce tension, but it can help tie your inner unit (your insides) better together and help get that pelvic floor back in check and working together properly.   So yes, I am literally saying that for some of you, taking a few minutes a day to practice breathing could potentially help fix your dysfunction. Pretty cool right?
  2. Get rocking - I am a huge fan of rocking as taught by Original Strength (yes, I am a little bias, but only because I know it works).  Get on your hands and knees and just shift forwards and backwards trying to get your shoulders in front of your palms and then pushing your butt back towards your calves.  Make sure to keep your head and chest up while you do this and keep a natural curve in your spine (It shouldn't feel like it's rounding when you got back or sagging down when you shift forward).  While you are rocking, see if you can feel for your pelvic floor while you move and as you shift forward and back.  Relax your muscles as much as possible and breathe.  If you want to explore this more, consider just hanging out at the bottom potion of the rock and breathing in this position.  Rocking is a great way to work on posture and work a lot of little stabilizers. Oh, and notice that this position also looks a whole lot like a squat!
  3. Squat, Squat - Squatting is a fav of mine.  Personally, I just think it feels pretty dang good.  Once you've got the rocking down with good form, squatting (with good form - meaning avoiding that booty tuck or 'butt wink') is super helpful in getting your glutes (your booty) to help restore balance and posture and lengthen the pelvic floor.  Make sure that you are slowly squatting down and then going back to a standing position while still breathing diaphragmatically.  This should be a relaxed squat, no excess bracing or tension. If you feel bracing and tension, consider holding onto a doorframe or a pole for some extra support and to help you get down nice a low.  Again, posture and form are important with this one!
  4. Be Patient - Don't expect that just one day of doing these exercises is going to instantly cure you.  I mean, by all means, go attempt a box jump or something and see what happens, but know that building strength is a process.  You wouldn't expect to have a 6-pack or big guns in a day, so don't expect a miracle cure after 5 minutes of breathing, rocking and squatting.  You can pray on it, but really, just be patient, and stay consistent. If you want additional support, I highly recommend contacting a women's health physical therapist. There are tons of specialists that focus on pelvic floor health and they can help you! Overall, here's what you need to take away from this..... peeing while working out is common, but not normal... It is a dysfunction that should be treated, and it is okay to talk about (don't be embarrassed) chances are, one of the women (maybe even a man) next to you have dealt with or are dealing with incontinence issues.  If you are dealing with these issues, give some of these suggestions from above a shot.  You can do this in less than 7-10 minutes a day, and potentially save yourself from having to buy loads of Poise pads, underwear changes, and worrying about if you'll have to skip or jump or if something will come out when you sneeze. Leaks shouldn't have to stop you! Put an end to your pee problems and get your insides working by tying them back together!    

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