Unfortunately, there is no holidaying from maintaining pelvic health - Western Women's and Mens Health
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Unfortunately, there is no holidaying from maintaining pelvic health

Unfortunately, there is no holidaying from maintaining pelvic health

It’s the holiday season again – time for a much-needed break, for a bit of fun and frivolity, and time for indulgence… Well, maybe not entirely. Although it is the holiday season, you would still be wise to continue taking care of your pelvic health. With a little bit of discipline, you can still enjoy the holiday celebrations – while also avoiding the consequences of neglecting the care of your pelvic region.

It may be tempting to bounce around with the kids, testing out this years Christmas gifts, such as the trampoline. However, be aware of the impact that this can have on your pelvic floor muscles. The excessive downward pressure that results from high impact exercise can place a lot of strain on the pelvic floor – potentially stretching, damaging and ultimately weakening the pelvic floor muscles ability to perform the function of holding contents in (i.e. urine, faeces and gas).

‘We’re all going on a Summer holiday, no more toilets for an hour, or two!’ For this reason, it can be tempting to dash to the toilet quickly before you leave – ‘just in case’. Logically, this makes sense, even if only a little bit comes out. However, to the bladder, you’re sending the signal that your bladder is full when it only contains low volumes of fluid. When this habit is repeated the bladder and the brain can become confused about the mixed signals, and end up ‘telling’ you to go the toilet more frequently than actually required. You may also start to experience an increased sense of urgency when you need to go to the toilet.

To combat the ‘just in case’ temptation, ensure that you plan your trip to incorporate breaks in locations that have a public toilet. This will also enable you to get out of the car, move around and avoid the stiffness and soreness that comes from long stints sitting in a car. You can find a national public toilet map and trip planner at www.toiletmap.gov.au (they also have an application that you can download onto your phone).

Let’s not forget about what we’re consuming over the holidays. It does tend to be a time of indulgence – normally more on the things that we shouldn’t, and not enough on the things we should. As a result, holidays are notorious for a change in our toilet habits, and generally not for notable improvements. Many will consume too many alcoholic, fizzy, sugary and caffeinated drinks and not enough water, which can irritate the bladder, leading to more frequent urination. Many will also consume too many potentially constipating foods (white bread, cheese, white pasta, potatoes), and too little fibre. Constipation can cause excessive straining and pressure on the bladder. Drinking enough water is also important in promoting healthy bowel movements.

By keeping a healthy balance with your diet and activity over the holiday period, there is no reason that you can’t enjoy the holidays, as well as your pelvic health. Just remember to be mindful about what you are doing or consuming, and be organized with your trips!

For further advice and assistance with your pelvic health over the Christmas holidays, book an appointment with one of our caring and highly experienced Hoppers physiotherapists. Call us at Western Women’s and Men’s Health in Hoppers Crossing on (03) 8001 2044.

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