Engage your core: The pelvic floor is part one of the four main components of your core. The diaphragm, transverse abdominals, and spinal extensors, make up the remaining three. These muscles work together to maintain the orientation of your torso, and the function of the organs inside them. Simple exercises such as “bridging” or planking can engage the core and spinal extensors and support your pelvic floor. Do not forget to keep breathing! Remember: the diaphragm works as part of the core, if you are holding your breath during exercise, the four components will not be working together effectively.
Speaking of breathing, take a breath: Speaking of breathing…a good way to start moving the pelvic floor, regardless of if it is tight or weak, is by adding deep breathing to your daily routine. The diaphragm and pelvic floor work opposite of each other. A healthy pelvic floor stretches as we breathe in and contracts slightly as we breathe out. Start by finding a comfortable position and relaxing your shoulders. Breathe in slowly through your nose and try to make the air “reach your bellybutton”, hold for 1-2 seconds and slowly release.
Modify the modifiable: As mentioned previously, there are factors that you can modify which can improve the health of the pelvic floor. These factors are: maintaining a healthy weight to reduce the downwards pressure on the pelvic floor, quitting smoking to improve circulation and lung function (remember the link between breathing and the pelvic floor?), and increasing physical activity by engaging in mild-moderate exercise (try 20-30 minutes of walking a few times a week).