It’s Women’s Health Week and studies show that while women today are leading healthier lives physically, there are still quite a few missing pieces to the overall picture of health and well-being.
Over 6 days I’m sharing scientifically proven biohacking tips on taking charge of your overall health and wellness.
Biohacking is the process of making changes to your lifestyle in order to “hack” your body’s biology and feel your absolute best. Everything we put into our bodies — our foods, our thoughts, our physical movement — are inputs to our biology and have an enormous impact on our outputs — how we behave, feel, function, and perform on a daily basis.
If the goal is better outputs such as increased energy, clearer thinking, better moods, happier relationships, reduction in illness, optimum performance, and so on, then we need to adjust our inputs.
DAY 4 // Pelvic Power
The pelvis is a beautiful and intricate structure made up of bones, muscles, nerves, and connective tissue with a massive job.
And just like the rest of the body, the pelvic floor is dynamic and its needs are specific to each individual and does best with a variety of movements. What many women don’t know is that the pelvic floor is THE BASE of your core and affects almost every part of how you move and function from how you breathe, your experience of pleasure during sex, using the bathroom, supporting your organs, your emotions, stress levels, and your ability to balance and move throughout the day.
And while we are so often told to strengthen our pelvic floor with things like kegels, there is a subtle and delicate balance of strengthening as well as softening the pelvic floor muscles. (Observe the relaxation and engagement of the pelvic floor with the movement of breath above).
Studies show that one third of women are affected by pelvic floor dysfunction, which refers to a number of issues ranging from the frequent urge to urinate, pelvic pain, painful intercourse, achy hips, lower back pain, SI joint pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and prostate issues (in men).
Overactive pelvic floor muscles can cause just as many problems as weak muscles so we need to learn how to soften, in order to strengthen, which is counterintuitive to the way most of us think about strengthening our core and pelvic floor.
Start with the Breath:
On a simplified level, as you inhale, the diaphragm relaxes down and into the belly to create space for the lungs to expand and fill with air within the ribcage. This relaxation of the diaphragm pushes the organs down while the abdominals relax (which shows as expansion of the belly). Visualize filling the belly with breath. At the very top of the inhale, feel the pelvic floor soften and relax down.
As you exhale, gently engage the abdominals and lift the diaphragm up into the ribcage as you press the breath out. At the very base of your exhale, feel the upper abdominals engage, then the lower abdominals, and finally the lift of the pelvic floor.
Set your timer for 3 minutes and get breathing while visualizing the rise and fall.
Strengthen and Soften:
See a pelvic floor specialist or personal trainer that understands the intricacies of the female anatomy and pelvic floor as well as the deep core musculature and learn how to strengthen and soften your core starting at the deepest level with your diaphragm and pelvic floor.
Find a bodyworker that can do hands on work as well as help you navigate the softening of your pelvic floor with therapeutic tools and techniques.
LET ME KNOW…
Do you focus on balancing the strength and softness of the pelvic floor?
What other adjustments have you made to your lifestyle to support your overall health and wellness? Share your favorite tips in the comments below — others in the community might benefit from your recommendations!
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Do you have any questions not answered in this post? Comment below or send me a note so I can continue to add information to answer your questions.