Happy September everyone!
I know that getting back into a regular school and / or work routine can be overwhelming. If being active is sliding to the bottom of your priority list, read my most recent Globe column. In it I outline how you can work movement into your busy life by "piggybacking" your workouts onto other things.
Those of you who know me know that I love Mexican food. So, I am very excited to announce that from now on I will be creating a monthly "Trotter's Tip" for the Mexican food chain Quesada. Take a look at Quesada's home page to see how they announced partnering with me. Also, this is a segment I did with Quesada on Breakfast Television.
This photo was sent to me from a friend in an email titled "eating dinner with you in Saskatchewan". I was totally confused as I was in the UK at the time. When I saw the photo I realized he was eating at Quesada!
This month's Trotter's tip.
I want to highlight my two most recent Huffington post blogs. They are both 'must reads' if you are concerned about your posture. In the first blog I outline ways you can become more mindful of your posture in your daily life. For example, you can take "The Color Challenge". Curious? Take a read!
In the second blog I outline a detailed 'posture perfect' strength routine.
I had a fantastic time in London (well, Dorking) learning about the upper spine and neck. This is a photo of my class.
While away I also had the pleasure of trying Gyrotonics for the first time,
and biking around the country. This picturesque photo was taken on the top of Box Hill.
This month's exercise of the month is "standing wall pushes". It is one of the "posture perfect" exercises I outline in the first Huffington Post blog mentioned above.
And lastly, this month's guest blog is from Robyn of Rebalance Pilates. Thanks Robyn for contributing!
Exercise of the Month
Posture Wall Pushes
- Stand with your back against the wall. Knees slightly bent, arms straight and palms facing the wall.
- Pull your shoulders blades back, tuck your chin like you are trying to give yourself a double chin and simultaneously push into the wall with your hands.
- When you tuck your chin make sure to keep your eyes facing straight ahead, don't look down.
- Don't let your lower back arch as you pull your shoulders back into the wall.
- Hold for five seconds.
- Release and repeat ten times.
Blog of the Month
Pilates, pelvic floor and incontinence.
By: Robyn Hickey
Have you ever laughed so hard that you have wet yourself a little? Has constipation even been an issue? It’s possible that you suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction, which can lead to incontinence. Incontinence is an issue that is usually spoken about in hushed tones or not spoken about at all. It can feel embarrassing. However, it affects both men and women.
Pelvic floor and pelvic floor dysfunction is a complex issue. This short article addresses what pelvic floor and pelvic floor dysfunction are and how Pilates can help but truthfully, I am only scratching the surface. If you are suffering or think you are suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction, please contact a qualified therapist for further conversation.
With that said, let’s dive in…
Can Pilates help to rectify and prevent incontinence? The short answer is, yes, but first we need to understand what the pelvic floor is and what makes up pelvic floor dysfunction.
To explain how one can become incontinent through pelvic floor dysfunction, I have to get a little clinical, so stay with me.
At the bottom of the pelvis lie four bony points: the two sits-bones, the tailbone and the pubic bone. Attached to the sits-bones, the pubic bone and tailbone are a series of muscles that create a diamond shape. We call it the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor supports our pelvic organs (the bladder, rectum, prostate and vagina). In women, it also supports the uterus and the baby during pregnancy. In addition to support, these muscles help to expel waste from the body.
Imagine the muscles of the pelvic floor create a hammock. As weight is placed on the hammock (such as the weight of a developing baby), the muscle fibers become stretched. If they are not properly strengthened, they will remain loose and won’t be able to support the organs and functions mentioned above.
Pelvic floor dysfunction occurs when those diamond shaped muscles aren’t working properly. They are either too loose or weak (which can lead to have trouble controlling our bladder and you may pee a little when you laugh or cough) or too tight. When the pelvic floor is too tight, this can lead to constipation and we can’t expel our waste easily.
A healthy pelvic floor has the ability to contract and release. Both functions are very important. The muscles contract to create stability and they release so we can expel waste.
Now, to throw a curve ball at you: it isn’t just the pelvic floor muscles that lead to poor pelvic floor support. Poor posture can also attribute to pelvic floor dysfunction as well.
How does Pilates help? In Pilates, we focus on rebuilding and strengthening the pelvic floor. When we learn how to engage those muscles properly, we can prevent issues like incontinence and constipation from occurring. We go beyond the traditional Keigel work and incorporate gentle pelvic floor activation into every exercise. Pilates also goes deeper into the exploration of why you might be suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction. We address posture and look at other supporting muscles, like the deep abdominals. It takes time, but we can rebuild the muscles to better support the body, allowing the muscles to work more efficiently and effectively. More importantly, we can work together to strengthen these muscles so you feel better in your body.
I can speak about the pelvic floor for hours. This is just a snippet to open the conversation. If you are interested in Pilates as a way of strengthening pelvic floor, please feel free to contact me.
Robyn has been teaching Pilates for over two years, working in studios around Toronto and teaching clients privately. Robyn completed her certification through The Pilates Process, certifying in all Pilates equipment (mat, chair, reformer, cadillac), pre and post-natal Pilates and therapeutic Pilates. Therapeutic Pilates helps those who have suffered from injury to re-train and re-strengthen the muscles. It is a more specific approach to muscle strengthening and joint mobilization and stabilization. Therapeutic Pilates moves a bit slower than general fitness Pilates, but the outlook is the same: to help the client achieve their personal goal.
Robyn loves the human body and nothing makes her happier than teaching and helping you get stronger. She wants to help you achieve your fitness goals and, if you have had an injury, to get you back to doing what you love — pain-free.
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Kathleen's Media Updates
The 2 "Cs" of training: convenience and consistency
How Exercise Can Help Your Posture
The Globe and Mail: Fitness basics: Work your core, legs and back with this CrossFit classic
4 Strategies to Improve Your Posture
How to Safely do a Cleanse
Take your workout to the next level with pyramid sets
The Globe and Mail: How to fit workouts into a busy September
The Globe and Mail: Stealth workout: Try the couch-potato friendly 2-for-1 Plank