Women’s biggest barriers to exercise

By Back in Motion

PELVIC floor dysfunction is a problem that affects one in three women across their life.

It is one of the most common barriers for women of any age to starting an exercise program.

Whether it be pregnant women struggling to know what is appropriate and what may give them issues, new mums not knowing if their pelvic floor will ever be the same again or menopausal or postmenopausal women who have just put things down to aging, physiotherapy can help get you on track to the exercise you want to be doing.

The pelvic floor is a muscle like any other muscle and can be strengthened at any age.

The issues that most women run into is that rather than easing into exercise while strengthening the pelvic floor to cope with it, we tend to do as much as possible with our general exercise while overloading our pelvic floors.

You wouldn’t run until your quads gave out, so why do we run – or jump/Zumba/lift weights— when our pelvic floor isn’t doing its job?

So what can you do? These are our top tips:

Only exercise to the capacity of your weakest muscle. If you feel heaviness or leaking in your pelvic floor region, that is where you stop that exercise.

Don’t hold your breath while you exercise. Holding your breath increases the pressure on your pelvic floor muscles while you exercise. You don’t need them doing unnecessary extra work.

If you have symptoms of pelvic floor weakness, see a physiotherapist. If you don’t know what you are doing wrong, how can you make it right?

At Back In Motion Rosny Park, we have physiotherapists with a special interest in women’s health issues.

They are qualified to properly assess and treat your pelvic floor and help you progress safely and easily into your exercise of choice.

Jessica Marwood and Jess Garlick are available for appointments Monday to Saturday for a free initial assessment.

For more information, phone 6281 2499 or visit www.backinmotion.com.au/rosny-park.

Caption: Kathleen Kelly, left, with Back in Motion physiotherapist Jess Garlick.