It’s January again – that time of year when we all get a fresh start and the gym is totally crowded. But how about some self-care resolutions that you can incorporate into your life without taking time away from your busy schedule? Here are four resolutions that will change your pelvic floor’s life for the better:
1. We all know that babies’ sensitive skin needs the protection of moisturizer from time to time. So does yours! Grab something pure like coconut oil or Vitamin E, apply it to your labia before bed a few times a week, and let that sensitive tissue get some beauty rest. (Don’t forget to use moisturizer before sex, too! I have a great resource guide for why you would pick 1 of the 3 main types of lubricant -- email me and I'll send it to you!)
2. Incorporate one stretch into your routine. Yes, I would love to see you incorporating even more, but this is a place to start. Hip openers can release tension in the pelvis and in deep muscles that may contribute to pelvic pain, which can be especially helpful for those of you who sit all day. Rodney Yee demonstrates three different stretches in this three minute video. Incorporate these stretches into your routine: baby’s tummy time can be mom’s hip-opening time!
3. Commit to drinking more water and eating more fiber. Finding a water bottle that you love and make it easy! Hydration helps keep your skin healthy, your muscles mobile, and your urinary tract happy. (Less water = concentrated pee, which can be irritating for your system.) So where does the fiber come in? Getting 25-27 grams of fiber per day will help you pass bowel movements more regularly and more easily, which is critical for your pelvic floor. You can even track your fiber intake through the app My Fitness Pal. And this leads us to…
4. Poop better. You can start by propping your legs up. Sound strange? Well, imagine how we were designed to live in nature. Squatting actually allows the angle at the base of your rectum to open up, leading to more complete elimination that doesn’t require straining. Using books, a stool, or a squatty potty will help you do this. We’re raised in a culture in which “girls don’t fart” or “women don’t poop,” which may lead us to do our business quickly instead of, say, luxuriating on the porcelain throne. But the best thing you can do for your pelvic floor is to let those muscles fully relax instead of straining to have a bowel movement. So treat yourself! Grab a book, your iPad, a crossword, and take your time!