The Easy Exercise That Burns Calories And Prevents Bladder Leaks At The Same Time

Most adults will experience it every once in a while. You could sneeze, laugh, or jump and feel a little bit of pee sneaking out. It might not be enough for others to see, but it's enough to remind you that perhaps your pelvic floor isn't as strong as it could be.

Women who are pregnant might notice a touch of incontinence, and the more children a woman has increases her risk of developing incontinence later. Women who've reached menopause also can feel light bladder leakage as well. Although women are more likely to experience incontinence, men might also have problems holding their pee if they have an enlarged prostate.

Some lifestyle changes can help with incontinence, but you can also turn to exercise to strengthen the muscles in your pelvic floor. No, there probably isn't a pelvic floor machine at the gym, but you can turn to one exercise that's already in your workout repertoire to work on your pelvic floor. Squats not only make your legs, hips, and butt strong, but they can help to stabilize the muscles in your pelvic floor and prevent bladder leaks.

How to activate your pelvic floor while doing squats

You don't even need to use weight to do pelvic floor squats. It might be better to learn the movement slowly without weights so you can perfect the form of your squat. Begin by standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, with your toes facing forward or a few degrees outward. To help counterbalance your weight, raise your arms in front of you at shoulder height. Imagine you have a chair behind you (or you can place an actual chair behind you) and draw your hips back while bending your knees. Keep your head facing forward and your back straight.

Once you lower as far as your mobility allows, tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor by imagining you're holding back a fart or a pee. While keeping these muscles contracted, drive through your heels to extend your legs straight. Try three sets of about 10 to 15 reps. You can add a yoga block or a folded bath towel between your thighs to help with the squeezing action.

Other exercises to improve incontinence

In the same way that squats can improve your pelvic floor, basic core exercises can also strengthen those muscles. Bridge pose is a common exercise in yoga classes where you can sneak in some pelvic floor strength as well. This exercise has you lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Using the same pelvic floor engagement, raise your hips off the floor by driving through your heels. Hold at the top of the lift, then release your muscles on the way down.

Bird dog also strengthens the core stabilizers and pelvic floor. Begin on all fours and extend your right leg straight behind you. If this is difficult for you, then press your toes into the floor with your right leg straight. Squeeze the muscles of your pelvic floor while also imagining a drawstring pulling your hip points together to engage the deep muscles of your core. Then extend your left arm forward to provide more of a challenge to your stability. Hold for a few seconds, then repeat with the opposite leg and arm.

Engaging your pelvic floor muscles during these basic exercises can help you become more mindful of how these muscles kick in during your everyday activities.