Do you have an idea of your body’s daily habits? Which positions do you find yourself in the most? Sitting, standing or maybe in some obscure positions if you’re lifting and carrying various things around!
I’m like to offer you 7 daily habits for a happy pelvic floor.
Our bodies adapt to the positions we put them in the most. So how you live your life, day to day has an impact on the health of your pelvic floor.
So depending on what you choose to do with your body each day, will depend on how well your body functions. The main ingredients to a happy and healthy body (and pelvic floor) is variety and diversity.
Sometimes we don’t even realise that our daily habits are having a long term impact on how we function.
This is especially important in pelvic floor health as we need the whole body to be functioning well, so the pelvic floor can do its job automatically.
Here are 7 daily habits for a happy pelvic floor. You can add them into your day and make such a big difference over time. They’re simple and easy to integrate and don’t require any big changes.
My advice would be to try a new one each day over the next 7 days. Make a note in your diary of when you’re going to walk and you’re more likely to stick to it. Grab your diary and start adding these new daily habits into your schedule.
Daily habit 1: walking daily
Walking has definitely grown in popularity over the last few months. Do you walk already? Maybe you do some big walks at the weekend but not so much during the working week. Have a little think about your day and decide when you could fit in a walk. This has to be every day. It can just be a short walk if you don’t have much time. Don’t get put off by the rain either, walking in the rain is so lovely and peaceful, so there’s no excuse there. Just pop on the right clothes for the right weather conditions and you’re sorted. If you can make a commitment to walk every single day, rain or shine then you will be helping your whole body tremendously. Maybe if you walk already, you can add in a second short walk later on in the day? If you find yourself sitting down a lot for your job, then definitely try and break up your day with a walk or two.
Daily habit 2: floor sitting
This next one might need some experimentation. Have a look around your house for something comfortable to sit on. It could be a cushion or pillow or maybe you have a yoga block hanging around somewhere. The art of sitting on the floor is not to find a position that you can stay in for a long time. You’re not meant to get too comfortable because that’s when the body starts adapting to the poor posture you’re in. What you want to do is use the muscles and joints in your body to hold you in these new positions. If floor sitting is totally new to you, just try it for a short time. Instead of collapsing on the sofa in the evening, can you sit on the floor for a while first? Could you place your computer onto a chair and sit on a cushion for your next zoom meeting? Experiment with this, and see what different ways you can include some floor sitting.
Daily habit 3: rib cage breathing
Learning the proper technique for breathing is going to help your pelvic floor relax and respond when you need it most. Breathing into the sides of the ribs instead of the belly or chest is going to help create the right space in your body for your pelvic floor to contract and relax. It works in tandem with your diaphragm, so getting your breathing right is crucial for a happy pelvic floor. Here is a short video to show you exactly how to rib-cage breathe.
Daily habit 4: sitting less
This might sound a bit contradictory to number 2 – I’ll explain. Your lovely body wants to move in a variety of different ways. There are so many different ways we can move ourselves and yet we often get stuck in similar movement patterns. We tend not to rotate or twist as much as we bend forwards for example. We’re often in a hunched over position when we could also arch our backs and look up! So sitting less is about changing the positions you put your body in. Try standing for a while when you’re next on the phone. Try going for a walk – you could combine it with a work meeting either on the phone or in person! Your aim is to reduce the number of hours you are sitting at your computer. How many hours do you do that now? Can you cut this down by a couple each day? This will make a big impact on how your whole body feels.
Daily habit 5: moving more
Building on from daily habit 4 – try moving more. I imagine this sounds a little intangible, so I’ll give you some solid examples where you can add in more movement. Instead of getting out the hoover can you sweep your floor? Instead of standing waiting for the kettle to boil could you have a little dance in your kitchen? Could you potter around your garden in the evening as a break from sitting watching tv? I’m talking about adding in more natural movement into your day. So this isn’t about doing more exercise, it’s much more subtle than that. This is about choosing to use your body instead of that piece of technology you’ve purchased to make life easier. Unfortunately convenience has made us very lazy and we just don’t use our bodies as they need to be used.
Daily habit: 6: relaxing
This is probably the best one. I’d like to encourage you to lie down more. So instead of sitting on your sofa in the evening, try using your cushions to find a comfortable lying down position on the floor. You could read a book while lying or just close your eyes and spend 5 – 10 minutes relaxing. Did you know that lying down for 10 minutes every day is as effective as having a nap. Could you commit to lying down, during the day, every single day? Just set a timer on your phone for 5 mins! The best time to do it is when you’re super busy. You can spare 5 minutes and it just might help you solve that work problem at the same time. Your nervous system will be super happy too.
Daily habit 7: treat your feet
Your feet need more love. It’s time to take off those shoes, socks or tights and spend a little time with your feet. You might need to find a comfortable position to reach your foot but after a while you’ll get more mobile. Especially will all the new movement you’re going to add to your day.
I like to massage the underneath of my foot – where your arch is. You can use a tennis ball or just use your own thumbs to get into the soft tissues in your feet. Give your feet a wiggle – can you move your toes separately? Have a little play and see how your feet and toes can move. Strong and mobile feel are the foundation to good pelvic floor health. It’s where I start when working with clients on their rehab journey. If you can get more movement into your toes and feet then your whole body benefits. You can also try walking around more barefoot – this really helps to improve the function of your whole body.
So there you go. 7 daily habits for a happy pelvic floor. You can add them into your day bit by bit. None of them are too time consuming but all of them will help your body to stay strong and mobile. And that’s what your pelvic floor needs to function properly.
My 8 steps to pelvic floor happines course helps you integrate new daily habits to improve the function of your pelvic floor. Find out more.