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How The Right Exercise Can Help with Pelvic Floor Issues

How The Right Exercise Can Help with Pelvic Floor Issues

The New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) is Supporting Continence Awareness Week in June.

Do you know how many people you know who are affected by continence issues?

Most people don’t, and those who do know probably didn’t talk about it much. It’s not a subject that is easily discussed, causing embarrassment for sufferers.

If you believe the advertisements on TV would have you believe, that women should expect to have incontinence when they laugh, cough or move fast. They tell you it is normal and should be managed by purchasing their product - why fix the problem when there is a band aid solution.

It’s no wonder these products are so popular, with more than 1.1 million (25%) New Zealanders experiencing bladder or bowel control problems at some point. In total, incontinence costs our country around $8.05 billion every year. This accounts for $7,000 per person with incontinence per year in health, loss of productivity, and other costs.

If you have visions of people in retirement homes being the ones having bladder issues think again, as 46% of women will at some point experience incontinence, with some having this issue as early as their teens, and many more after giving birth. It’s not a problem that will just go away, even if you do exercise regularly and take care of yourself.

Exercise is such an important part of being healthy, but recent studies reported by Pelvic Floor First have revealed that some exercise options can contribute to pelvic floor problems. While all exercise is great for your waistline and your fitness levels, when it comes to looking after your pelvic floor muscles, not all exercise is created equal.

So how do you know you are making the right choices when it comes to pelvic floor friendly exercise? There is no compulsory registration of people providing exercise advice in NZ, so some trainers and facilities could be offering sessions involving exercises that will have a negative impact on continence, and some more extreme exercise options can cause real damage.

Using a trainer that is registered with the NZ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) means you know they meet industry recognised standards of education and knowledge. Pelvic floor education is important as women (and men) realise that this is a problem that they do not have to put up with, or manage, and that with appropriate professional care they can restore their pelvic floor strength. It’s understandably an embarrassing topic, so working with a registered exercise professional you feel comfortable confiding in is important.

The NZ Register of Exercise Professionals understands that educational resources on issues such as these should be available to everyone, so a handy ‘Tell Me More’ consumer information guide has been released on Core and Pelvic Floor advice. This guide is available on request from your local REPs registered exercise professional from June onwards. Go to www reps.org.nz to find a REPs Registered exercise facility or trainer in your area.


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