On May 4th, 2023, our Kinesiologist Melanie Williams hosted our very first in clinic workshop. Her background involves working with women, specifically women in the pre and post-natal stage of life. Her main focus is to help people using exercise by educating and guiding her clients about safe exercise.
During the workshop, she covered topics about what pre and post-natal coaching entails, who and how she can help women, common issues most women experience from having kids or who have never had kids and how to exercise safely to prepare, prevent and rehabilitate from common issues.
Often, when you hear about a pre and pos-natal coach, the inclination is to assume that they work exclusively with women who have had kids. One takeaway from the workshop was that women who have never had kids can still experience similar issues such as urinary incontinence and weak pelvic floor. By definition, a pre and post-natal coach is a qualified fitness trainer in women’s health that work with all women at different stages of life and pregnancy by prescribing personalized exercise prescription that helps you either maintain fitness, keep you comfortable during pregnancy or return to exercise postpartum.
Exercises that target strengthening the core and pelvic floor, alleviate back pain, help return to safe exercise and assist with incontinence apply to all women. Although these issues are most commonly found among the population of women who have experienced pregnancy, young and older women can go through the same thing.
Another big takeaway from the workshop involved learning about how to strengthen our pelvic floor. It’s important to understand the function of the pelvic floor and what’s involved. Essentially, the pelvic floor is a “hammock” of muscles that lie within our pelvis. Their function is to support the pelvic organs such as out bladder, rectum and uterus (in females). Just like any other muscle, they can contract and relax in order to control continence of these organs. In order to be strong, they need to be able to do both – fully contract and fully relax.
Sometimes the pelvic floor can be in a hypotonic (too weak) or hypertonic (too tight). Both situations can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction. Without the help of a pelvic floor physiotherapist, it is difficult to determine the cause of any dysfunction. A common sign or a weak pelvic floor is due to the inability to relax. Generally, we hold a lot of tension in our pelvic floor leading to pelvic pain and potential incontinence. Always seek professional help such as a pelvic floor physiotherapist.
The number one thing we look at is breathing patterns. This is the last big takeaway form the workshop. Our core and pelvic is heavily involved when it comes to breathing. With proper “connection breath” or “diaphragmic breathing” patterns, you can develop the ability to connect with your deep core and pelvic floor which is a pillar of rehabilitating from any condition. To start, follow these simple breathing exercises to help with targeting your deep core and pelvic floor:
If you, or someone you know is and in a state of worry that they will never be able to jump on a trampoline again with their kids, play jump rope or go out for a dinner with friends because their scared if one cough will cause leaking – Reach out to our Registered Kinesiologist Mel who would love to help with feeling healthy, fit and confident again. Call 705-527-3325 or email at email@example.com