Yesterday I had a conversation with a new acquaintance. She was around at our place doing a boxing session with my husband who was helping her to throw a punch correctly so she wouldn't over extend her elbows like she had been and obviously a lot of the conversation centred around workouts.
I am a yo-yo exerciser. I go through phases of being very active, followed by phases of no activity at all. The thing is, I love exercise. I can often be heard bemoaning exercise and loathing it out loud, but truth be told, I really do love being active. (Just don't tell my husband)
One of my favourite exercises doesn't feel like exercise at all. It's more like channeling my inner eight year old and playing. I love to jump on my kids trampoline. Not only is it fun, (I take my ipod with me and just lose myself in music, bouncing and solitude) but just 10 minutes jumping is the equivalent of a 30 minute jog. The big bonus is, it reduces the bone impact by 80%. So for people like me with messed up feet, it's the perfect exercise.
I was lamenting to my new acquaintance about the tramp mat deteriorating and springs popping off ( I refuse to bounce now because I just know, halfway in and it will all come crashing down!) and she was shocked I would bounce. Without peeing myself.
Okay, so cue my turn for the gasp and shock.
There I was, with my mouth half open thinking to myself, this is an incredibly fit woman. She works out six days a week, (including instructing) she takes the utmost care of her body, how is it that she doesn't take care of her pelvic floor? I asked if she knew what Kegel was and she looked at me blankly. It was at this point my husband came back into the gym and his face was the one full of shock as I began telling her about clenching, lifting and vaginal weights.
Ladies, really, we need to take care of our vaginas. We all know the importance of breast exams. We all know the importance of regular pap smears. Our Vagina is part of a large and complex muscular system that requires as much attention and training as our glutes, abs and triceps. Training the pelvic floor doesn't just aid in childbirth and sex but it is vital to healthy waste elimination. Our bladders and bowels are part of the same network.
The best thing to do is see your GP. Ask about PC exercises and get shown how to do them correctly. Especially if you have a prolapsed vagina, you should see a physio that specialises in pelvic floor treatments. It is often difficult to perform the exercise correctly, so having that one on one feedback is essential. Only then should you explore the options for vaginal weights. VW's aren't suitable for every body. Know your vagina. Know your body. Make sure to start light. It's very easy to overload weak PC muscles.
But even if you don't experience some degree of incontinence when you cough, laugh, sneeze or jump, you should think about adding Kegel exercises to your regular training routine. Your vagina will truly thank you for it.