Why spinning could be bad for your pelvic floor

With January in full swing, many of us are getting to grips with our new year’s resolutions to get back to the gym and live a healthy existence.

To make this happen, we might decide to venture to a spin class – which gives us the chance to work on our legs and abs, while listening to upbeat music.

Spinning is very popular with women, in particular, and it does seem, at first glance, to be a great workout.

Plus, many TV shows and movies featuring millennial or Gen Z women usually include at least one yoga class (for flexibility) and one spin class (for cardio).

So, what’s not to like?

Well, health experts say that spin classes can take a toll on an individual’s vagina and pelvic floor.

Intimate health expert Stephanie Taylor, from Kegel8, explains that we might want to reconsider our regular gym class offering.

She says that there can be negative implications to our pelvic floor with continued spinning.

Stephanie explains: ‘While indoor cycling can have many positive benefits on your health and fitness, it is not the kindest activity for your vulva and vagina – potentially taking a toll on your pelvic floor.’

This comes down to sitting in the wrong position on the bike, which can be fixed if you’re in a spin class with an instructor at the gym (if they’re trained).

However, this isn’t the case if you’re alone with an at-home bicycle.

Stephanie says: ‘Not having an experienced instructor who can provide advice on the right position for your bike, and your body, can have health implications.’

‘One study found that when handlebars are positioned lower than the saddled, it can result in increased perineum (the area between the anus and the vulva) saddle pressures and decreased vaginal and labial sensation,’ Stephanie continues.

‘Women who ride with a low handlebar can also experience greater pelvic tilt, causing their pelvic floor muscles to tighten.’

This can sometimes cause your nerves and arteries to become compressed and the muscles around them to contract and not relax.

As a result, this can lead to an overactive pelvic floor, which may eventually cause pelvic pain and increase your susceptibility to urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Plus, if your pelvic floor is already weak, regular cycling can sometimes cause incontinence (the sudden urge to urinate).

Taylor continues: ‘Cycling for extended periods can also push down on the pudendal nerve, which is located in the perineum.

‘Damage to this nerve can result in numbness, increased sensitivity to pain and urge incontinence.’

If you’re cycling outside, you would usually be stopping or getting off at regular intervals, but with an indoor cycle, you wouldn’t need to and it can cause longer-term damage.

British Cycling recommends that you stand up every ten to 15 minutes while cycling to ease pressure and restore blood flow.

Taylor advises those who are committed to their spinning to reconsider the type of seat they use, especially if they experience any pain or incontinence.

She says: ‘Changing your seat to one with a cut-out in the middle may help ease some pressure.’

If you’re already experiencing these symptoms, there are certain Kegel exercises can also strengthen your pelvic floor and help with urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

Source: Read Full Article