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We know that sport is very beneficial for health. Going for a walk, running or riding a bicycle brings us countless advantages: calories are burned; the quadriceps are toned, the lumbar area of the spine and the muscles that support the knee are strengthened; more endorphins are generated, etc.
But sport also has its risks if it is not practiced properly. In women, the most affected area is the pelvic floor. For example, bad cycling can cause urinary incontinence or prolapse. We give you some tips to ride a bicycle without damaging the pelvic floor after childbirth, since it is the moment when this area is most weakened.
There are low and high impact sports for the pelvic floor. The bicycle is a low impact exercise, that is, one in which the impact is reduced to the maximum and does not cause an excessive increase in intra-abdominal pressure. And even so, in the cases of spinning classes or pedaling on rough terrain can put the pelvic floor under greater pressure.
Suffering urinary incontinence or prolapse are some of the disadvantages of a weak pelvic floor and affected by sport. Therefore, and to avoid these future problems, it is important to follow these tips, both before and after delivery:
1. Make sure you pedal in the correct position. It is very important to avoid leaning forward. An upright posture will help us reduce back and neck pain, so it is better to choose a bicycle with a higher handlebar. Also, the legs should not be completely straight or very bent, but slightly bent.
2. Adjust the saddle to distribute the weight. Although it may seem obvious for comfort, it is necessary to adjust it so that the weight is evenly distributed on the bones of the seated person. We can achieve greater comfort if we use a padded saddle and pants.
3. Start with a gentle routine. If you are starting out in the world of cycling, start with simple workouts and avoiding intense leg work. Also, if you have abdominal problems, it is best to start with a stationary bike.
4. If you have just given birth it is important to wait two months to ride a bike. Until then, the muscles will be weak, so this period should be used to rehabilitate it. On the other hand, if you have had a surgical intervention in the perineal area it is advisable to avoid riding a bicycle until the muscles have fully recovered.
5. Begin gradually with spinning. This routine is in vogue in gyms around the world and is very beneficial for gaining strength and losing weight. However, its high intensity can affect our pelvic floor, so the best option is to increase the intensity of the exercise little by little without great effort in the first days.
6. Avoid pedaling standing up for a long time. It is in this position the more pressure we exert on our pelvic floor, so it is recommended, as far as possible, to practice this exercise sitting down.
7. Avoid complex terrain. The more complicated the terrain, the more pressure we will be exerting on our pelvic muscles. Therefore, it is better to cycle on flat or slightly undulating surfaces, avoiding climbing steep hills.
8. Practice Kegel exercises. Riding a bicycle while we practice this routine will allow us to have a strong pelvic floor, and thus avoid possible discomfort. These exercises consist of contracting the pelvic floor muscles up and inward for a few seconds to strengthen and tone the pelvic muscles.
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