7 tips that healthy women can adopt at any age for a long-lasting, happy life
Healthy women in Brisbane enjoy quality healthcare and great living standards which means they can expect to live longer than anticipated. Quality of life is important as you won’t be able to enjoy it if you’re not fit and healthy. Here are a few easy to implement, physiotherapist-approved tips to help women at any stage in their life or age to do just that.
Watch our 15 minute video to see these 7 techniques in action or keep reading…
1. Simple Exercise to help women stay healthy
Even a little bit of exercise is more beneficial than absolutely none. If you have an injury or illness or are just unfit, take a walk around your home or property. If you cannot walk, then try a seated arm or shoulder exercise, lifting your arms up while keeping your back and shoulder muscles from stiffening. Another great exercise if you can’t walk, is to move your legs and feet slightly, improving your circulation, and ensuring that dangerous blood clots don’t occur. You can also try to squeeze the muscles in your bottom for some added exercise. While you should always accept help when you need it, it is good to retain physical independence. Just keep your steps long and even and stop if your lower back or pelvic area start to feel tired.
2. Avoid sitting still for too long
Every half hour of being stationary must be broken up by a minute of moving or walking around. It will keep your buttock muscles from weakening, which will make standing easier and help prevent pain in your lower back. This helps because your body’s tissues and its muscles can remember a position, so if you keep a position for too long, it will be harder to straighten out afterwards.
3. Keep your bones strong with exercises
Keep your bones strong with exercises that makes your body bear a load
Exercise that places weight on your bones will reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis. You can use hand held weights or complete push ups using a bench surface to strengthen your arm, back and shoulder bones. Walking will strengthen hip joints as well as leg bones without exacerbating back pain, while also boosting the muscles on the floor of the pelvis.
4. Walk upright
Having a good posture is critical to your balance, which in turn will keep you from falling. It benefits the pelvic floor when your central muscles are activated, keeping your belly tucked in. It’s easy to practice this throughout the day and, as a bonus, it will make you look taller and younger.
5. Exercise the muscles of your pelvic floor
At Graceville Physio, we strongly believe that the muscles of the pelvic floor are one of the most important in a woman’s body. It’s a muscle that benefits from the previously mentioned exercises and activities, as well as by doing specific pelvic floor exercises. As many women know, a weak pelvic floor can create bowel or bladder incontinence, but few understand exactly why.
Your pelvic floor muscles form a hammock that keeps internal organs in place within your abdomen, and when this muscle is contracted or lifted these organs are in turn lifted, preventing them from prolapsing. It also works to stabilise your lower back, as activating this area tilts your tailbone, stabilising your lower spine.
Prolapsing can occur in the bladder, bowel or uterus and in addition to being embarrassing and life altering, can even require surgical intervention in order to hoist these organs back to their right place in absence of a fully functional pelvic floor.
A common misconception people have is that being seated means you have to activate these muscles. Sitting simply does not engage this muscle as much as standing does, unless you’re coughing, sneezing or doing pelvic floor exercises in your chair. You need to understand this as it demonstrates to you exactly why maintaining a strong pelvic floor isn’t as difficult as it may seem. In fact, you might even create an overactive pelvic floor from doing too many Kegel exercises that your body doesn’t actually need.
Ironically, an overactive pelvic floor can create much of the same problems that a weak pelvic floor does, such as incontinence due to the fact that the muscle has been exhausted due to too many contracting exercises. It can even create pain.
Another common misconception held is that bracing your abdominal area will help strengthen your entire core without side effects. The reality is repetitively bracing this muscle and holding your breath can increase pressure in the abdomen, pushing down on the muscles of your pelvic floor. In time this constant pressure can lead to the muscles stretching and weakening.
Other seemingly minor things that can all contribute to your pelvic floor weakening are a seasonal cold, respiratory illnesses that cause constant coughing or sneezing (both of which place pressure on the muscles of your pelvic floor, as well as chronic constipation, as it makes your lower back hurt and weakens your tummy muscles due to straining.