Feel Good

Let’s talk more about pelvic floor and the menopause

How many times have you said menopause without whispering? Once? Twice? Mad isn’t it? It’s something that happens to all women at some stage of their lives, yet it’s a taboo subject for most.

Written by High Life North
Published 01.11.2019

By Roxy Bugrova

I’ve been a personal trainer for many years now and have seen how the menopause or weak pelvic floor muscles can impact women of all ages.

Many women forget to focus on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, but like any other muscle in the body, your pelvic floor should be exercised regularly to keep the muscles strong and active. More than 1/3 of women experience issues with their pelvic floor at some point during their lifetime. It can be affected by childbirth but also excessive exercise, being overweight, a sedentary lifestyle and ageing. 

What are the benefits of strengthening your pelvic floor? 

  • Helps stop incontinence 
  • Helps manage prolapse
  • Relieves some menopausal and peri-menopausal symptoms 
  • Lowers the risk of incontinence following childbirth 

Finding your pelvic floor muscles

The pelvic floor muscle group is bigger than many people think and acts like a hammock for the lower abdominal organs.

You can feel them if you imagine you are trying to stop the flow of urine when going to the toilet. These are the muscles we will focus on! 

Exercises to try at home

Exercising the pelvic floor muscles for just 10 minutes a day will strengthen them. However, if you have experienced issues with your pelvic floor or are suffering menopausal symptoms it is important to seek advice from a trained therapist.

I have developed a specific exercise class with a range of techniques that train, improve and maintain women’s muscles. They are then given homework each week which can be done anywhere, just 10 minutes a day combined with the class will ensure that results and improvements are seen within just a few weeks. It’s also a really safe environment where women can talk openly and share issues with each other. 

Try the following gentle exercises at home to get started…

The Pelvic Lift

1. Lie on your back on the floor, legs flat, feet relaxed, hip distance apart

2. Create a triangle with your hands placed below your tummy button

3. Breathe deeply for two minutes making sure your hands move with your abdomen with each breath you take, focus on inhaling and exhaling trying, to make your tummy move three inches in when inhaling and three inches out when exhaling 

Hip Crunches

1.Begin standing up with your feet just a little further than hip-distance apart

2. Bend your knees as close to 90 degrees as possible

3. Make sure your shoulders are back

4. Then slowly begin to move your hips forward and back, imagine you are drawing a ‘c’ shape with your hips, keeping your knees bent throughout

5. Be sure to inhale and exhale deeply throughout the exercises

Hip Abductors

1.Begin lying on one side with your head resting on the arm which is on the floor

2. Bring your knees towards your tummy so that you have a 90-degree bend at the knee and your heels are in line with your hips

3. Slowly raise your top leg, then lower and repeat ten times. Engage your glutes throughout (making sure your hip doesn’t move)

4. Turnover and repeat on the opposite leg

5. Be sure to inhale and exhale deeply throughout the exercises

Further information

Roxy runs Menopausal Muscle Mentoring sessions at Sound Mind and Body every Thursday at 7.00pm. Each weekly session is one hour long and costs £8. 

All women 18 and over are welcome as it will benefit those in the menopause, women who have undergone gynaecological surgery or women who are of childbearing age and want to strengthen their pelvic floor.  

Results and improvements will be noticed within a few weeks. 

If you would prefer a one-on-one consultation with Roxy, she is offering High Life North readers a free hour-long session to discuss any concerns or issues and undertake some initial assessment exercises. 

To book the class at Sound Mind and Body contact Roxy on 07928 109805, visit www.soundmindandbody.co.uk or call 0191 280 9274. (Quote High Life North for your free personal session)

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