Heart Health and your Pelvic Floor

How can your pelvic floor impact your heart health? And why your heart health can impact your pelvic floor heath…

The more we learn about our body the more we know everything is connected in one way or another through muscle attachments and fascia which interweaves throughout the body.

Visualise the heart, it pumps blood around our body to provide oxygen rich blood delivering nutrients for us to use to function, taking away the waste and recycling it. It works all the time, never stopping – to keep it in good working order, from us It needs, movement, good nutrition, hydration, rest and sleep.

Now visualise the Pelvic Floor, the name for the muscles that support and protect our bladder, uterus and anus, which also works in conjunction with our core and back muscles too. These muscles also need from us, movement, good nutrition, hydration, rest and sleep so when we go about our day to day activities, including “exercise” these organs are supported, the muscles contract and relax as required enabling our bodily functions to work efficiently and with ease.

We may experience pelvic floor dysfunction for a variety of reasons – when these muscles are not able to be as supportive – maybe they have become too relaxed and cannot contract when needed (cough or a sneeze) or they may be too tight which can cause issues too.
If we know when we do particular movement or exercise – walking, running, or jumping that we have “accidents” over time we stop doing those activities for worry of an accident.

As time goes on, our fitness and movement levels may change, we do less which gradually has a knock on effect with our heart.

We aren’t moving or exercising enough to keep our heart in good condition, we may put on weight, be at a greater risk of heart disease, develop other physical issues  – stiffness, lose confidence in being active and not want to move as much creating more of an knock on effect to the heart.

Women in midlife, especially after post menopause need to keep their hearts healthy, as our oestrogen levels have lowered, that heart and pelvic floor friendly hormone isn’t in abundance as it once was, so this has another knock on effect.

Can you see how the two are connected.
What to do?

If you have or are experiencing this, noticing that you pelvic floor is causing a change in the things you love to do, or know you ought to do, lets address this.

There is so much that can be done to help improve any pelvic floor issues and incorporate movement and exercise at the same time, and then progressing further and further.

If you want to get on that trampoline for the fun, and physical benefits of it without worrying about a leak, or to get back to running that 5k, let’s look at what’s going on and all the things we can do to help both your pelvic floor and long term heart health.

For some further reading on barriers to exercise re pelvic floor:

Is urinary incontinence a barrier to exercise in women? Nygaard et al 2005

If you would like to find out more about the programmes and work we can do together for your pelvic floor and heart health head to the contact page, send me a message and lets talk.