| Caroline Knight
Women with pelvic floor problems come to Vuvatech for assistance, and as we love to help in any way we can, we thought it was about time we addressed one of the questions we are often asked. Does walking relax the pelvic floor? The simple is answer is yes, but there’s a fine line between relaxation and contraction when it comes to the pelvic floor muscles.
If you’re going to use walking as a relaxation strategy, how you walk is very important. Read on to make sure you’re walking to relax the pelvic floor, rather than strengthening it:
Walking to relax the pelvic floor muscles
Walk daily, but don’t run
If you’ve got symptoms of a tight pelvic floor, a daily walk can do you the world of good. However, walk too briskly and you risk actually tightening the pelvic floor even more. We recommend taking a gentle stroll of 20 minutes or more, but keeping it under 2 kilometers. That’s because if you get tired or overwork your muscles, the exercise may have the opposite effect to that intended.
Never walk when you’re already tired, as your pelvic floor will be more susceptible to fatigue and strain. The key word is gentle, so no treadmills, and definitely no running. Running will force your core muscles to spring into action, which could even be one of the reasons your pelvic floor is tight in the first place. If you have the option, some gentle water walking (i.e. walking in water) would be even better as this supports your pelvis and helps you to maintain good posture.
When walking to relax the pelvic floor, remember that progressive, low-impact exercises will be much more beneficial for tight kegel muscles than anything exertive. Always pay close attention to your stride; if your heel is landing first and you’re pushing off from spread toes, you’re doing it right.
Step away from the high heels
Much as we might live the way they make us look, high heels are a disaster for our posture. They force us into unnatural positions, and as a result, our muscles have to work hard to compensate. The result is - you guessed it - constriction. If we rarely walk anywhere, and when we do it’s in heels, we are asking for pelvic floor trouble. It’s a fact that simple, flat shoes will help your pelvic floor to relax and stay in proper alignment.
Heels force our body to lean forwards, and our whole frame is out of alignment. Our knees, ankles and lower spine will feel the strain, and our poor muscles… all their efforts have to go into stopping us from falling over! It’s so much better to walk in comfortable flat shoes, or even barefoot if you can. Walking barefoot in the grass or on the earth actually has lots of benefits. Known as grounding (or earthing), it will surely help you to recharge and relax your whole body.
It’s vital that we are mindful about the ways we are impacting our pelvic floor, because when things get out of whack, we really know about it. Fortunately there are lots of other ways to ensure you relax your pelvic floor muscles, as we covered those in another article. We hope you find that helpful too!
Do you need exercises to relax the pelvic floor? Click here for a quick pelvic floor stretch routine.