Pelvic Floor Health 101: What’s the Deal with Kegels, Especially for Female Athletes (with Reform PT’s Abby Bales)
You all may remember our discussion of all things pelvic floor health for athletes over on The Consummate Athlete Podcast a couple months ago… PT Abby Bales (of Reform PT, now open in NYC!) was a hugely popular guest and the episode brought forth a ton of discussion and I was really pleased with how many people listened, and actually thanked us for tackling the topic. Pelvic floor health is something that’s super important for female athletes, and doesn’t often get the respect it deserves. It’s sort of a taboo, or sex-oriented topic, and I’m tired of that: this is a HEALTH issue!!! So, after talking with Abby for that episode, we circled back, this time to talk about the one thing that goes hand-in-hand whenever we mention pelvic floor health: the Kegel. Abby and I dive into WTF a Kegel is, how to do one properly, tips/tools for figuring that out, and most importantly, about who should be doing them and who can give them a pass. I highly recommend checking out the full pelvic floor episode as well, but if you just are Kegel-curious, give this a listen:
Confession: Even though I’ve written extensively about women’s comfort when it comes to on-the-bike, no matter how many times I start posts about this topic, I get nervous. But it’s just so important for our health as female athletes, and even more, it’s important that we’re OK talking about it. Mommy blogs talk about stuff like pelvic floor health all the time, but I notice that among the athletic/pre-child-bearing population, we tend to shy away from it, or we only talk about pelvic health in the context of sex. But it’s super important in terms of our athletic lifestyles too.
Thinking about what I see in headlines ALL THE TIME in the cycling/fitness scene, I realized that there is a ton written about erectile disfunction in cycling (not something to freak out about FYI). We cover that in major publications, from Bicycling to the freaking Guardian. But we don’t talk about women’s health in the same way, and I’d love to see that change.
So, if you’re up for it, expect a lot more frank conversations like this one in the future on here!
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