The material provided below is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the diagnosis or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. You should always seek medical advice before consuming any new medicines or supplements. AZO products referenced on this website are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease such as overactive bladder, urinary tract infections, or vaginal infections.
Sweet sixteen. That’s the magic number. That’s how many muscles make up the pelvic floor. Sixteen reasons why you make it to the restroom in time. Sixteen reasons (like we need any more) why you should pay attention to your body, your health and your bladder. And sixteen friends we think you should get to know a little better.
Bladder Control: The Pelvic Floor1
You know the muscles you use to cut off the flow of urine? Or to hold in gas? That’s the area you want to concentrate on. It’s called the ‘pelvic floor,’ and it’s like a hammock of interwoven muscular tissue that’s attached to your coccyx (the tailbone) and the front of the pubic bone. The pelvic floor supports your internal organs and controls sphincters for the vagina, urethra, and anus. When you breathe in, it relaxes downwards. When you breathe out, it pulls back up.
And like any trampoline, you want it to be stretchy—but not too stretchy. Flexible enough to move freely, but resilient enough to pull easily back into shape. Weight, constipation and aging can all affect the strength of the pelvic floor. And a weakened pelvic floor can lead to occasional bladder and bowel control issues, loss of sexual sensation, and general fatigue and soreness in the abdominal region. But how do you strengthen it and keep it in good condition?
A Healthy Bladder: Kegels
One good way is by performing bladder control exercises, like Kegel exercises. Kegels are the world’s most portable workout. Because wherever you are, whatever you’re doing—you can do Kegels at the same time.
Start by taking a deep breath and relaxing your abdominal muscles. Don’t bear down or hold your breath. Contract the sphincter muscles in your urethra, vagina, and anus, like you’re trying to ‘hold it in’. Then release gently and slowly. Keep alternating between slowly squeezing and relaxing for 5–10 seconds, for 10 repetitions. Then try 10 repetitions of short, quick squeezes.2 And there you are—whipping that bladder into shape!
How to Control Your Bladder: Yoga
There are a variety of yoga poses and exercises that are particularly good for strengthening your bladder’s pelvic floor and improving bladder health. As with all yoga, it’s important to keep in touch with your breathing at all times.
In a reclined wide-legged pose: you continue following and amplifying the natural movement of the breath while sitting on the floor, with your back and bottom up against a wall, opening your legs wide as you inhale, and then closing them back together again as you exhale. In cobbler’s pose: you sit on the floor, with the soles of your feet touching, as you allow your bent legs to slowly fall to the sides. In the modified lotus pose: (for more experienced yoga practitioners) you sit cross-legged, with one foot under the knee of the opposite leg, the other foot resting on the knee of the opposite leg.3 Sign up for a yoga class or work with a personal instructor to make sure you’re performing these poses correctly.
Naturally-Sourced Bladder Control: Pumpkin Seeds
Commonly accepted by Native Americans and European herbal traditions, pumpkin seeds have been shown to assist in maintaining the muscle tissue of the pelvic floor.* Pumpkin seeds are certainly a good, low-calorie snack you can easily enjoy. But who wants to have the same snack day in and day out?
AZO Bladder Control® with Go-Less® contains a concentrated, naturally-sourced, proprietary blend of pumpkin seed extract and soy germ extract that has been clinically shown to be effective in assisting women with occasional bladder control issues.* Reduce the occasional urge to go to the bathroom with these exercises and the help of the ingredients in AZO Bladder Control® so you can go less and worry less.*
3 Yoga Exercises to Strengthen Bladder http://woman.thenest.com/yoga-exercises-strengthen-bladder-1289.html