Our pastor has been doing a sermon series called “Foundations”. Yesterday he compared our spiritual foundation, or core, to our physical core, and explained how important both are. He used some different illustrations of core strength, and what can happen if a person’s core muscles are underdeveloped, and I kept waiting for him to mention urinary incontinence, but he never did. I’m guessing “pelvic floor” isn’t a sermon-worthy term.
Here’s the thing, though. Like everybody is peeing on themselves these days. They’ve gotta be, otherwise there wouldn’t be shelves and shelves (if not entire aisles) of adult diapers. And I know, I know, correlation does not imply causation, but I would guess that as the soda aisles have expanded, so too have the adult diaper aisles. Because we just sort of eat a lot and stare at screens a lot and don’t move a lot. And we’re weakening ourselves, even our inside core muscles that are supposed to hold our pee in until we say so. So then we sneeze or giggle and it comes out in drops, then maybe more than drops, and then, well, we just sit in it, I guess. According to this doctor, “the number one reason why older women have to go to nursing homes is…drum roll…urinary incontinence!”
Granted, there are lots of reasons for incontinence, but if we leak because of a weak core, we can fix that!!
This is one exercise that I think is a great place to start–just a simple pelvic bridge butt-up. Here’s an illustration, and here are good instructions. The key is to imagine stopping the flow of pee–tighten it all up as you push up. My favorite workout book includes this exercise, and the authors suggest doing the bridge on your toes, heels, and flat-footed, to target just slightly different muscle areas. And it never hurts to wedge a ball or foam yoga brick between your knees as well to work your thighs even more. Oh, yeah, and maybe work your triceps at the same time as well. That’s all I got, though; I’m done there.
Do yourself a favor, though; take some time for your core. Maybe 15 minutes a day? While watching TV? Just before bed? If your kids see you and laugh, or your husband (He’d better not! This stuff benefits him too!), they’ll get bored of making fun of you in, eh, a few days. A week, max. Probably. I can’t actually guarantee that they’ll ever not make fun of you.
But the thought of no adult diapers? C’mon. So worth it.