Pregnancy and ageing can take a toll on a woman’s body; however, practicing Pilates on a consistent basis can counter the negative effects. Women can reap unique benefits from Pilates.

Women comprise over 70% of people affected by incontinence, with pregnancy, childbirth and menopause the main contributors to stress incontinence in women. The muscles of the pelvic floor also work with the abdominal and back muscles to stabilise and support the spine. Pregnancy and childbirth can stretch and weaken the pelvic floor muscles that support the urethra causing stress incontinence with activities that push down on the bladder.

Prevention is as important as treatment. Early intervention may prevent or delay problems recurring or getting worse later in life. Age is no barrier to the benefits of pelvic floor muscle exercises. There is evidence to suggest that older people are just as likely to benefit from pelvic floor muscle exercises for incontinence as younger people. Postnatal pelvic floor muscle exercises have been shown to assist in the recovery of pelvic floor muscle function and to reduce or cure the likelihood of urinary incontinence in women who have had instrumental births or big babies.

Doing pelvic floor muscle exercises during pregnancy will help the recovering of pelvic floor muscle function and bladder control after the birth of the child. In almost all cases it is possible to gain control over the pelvic floor muscles and to train them to do their job better. Like other muscles, the pelvic floor muscles become stronger with a regular exercise program. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles helps to actively support the bladder and bowel which improves bladder control and can reduce or stop unwanted leakage. It is important to keep pelvic floor muscles in good working order for life. As with any muscles, fitness involves regular training, which applies to the pelvic floor as well so it should be developed and incorporated it as part of a daily habit, like brushing teeth.

At our studio we are in a unique position to help you with pelvic floor issues. Peta, our principal instructor, is a Registered Nurse with a nationally recognised Vocational Graduate Certificate in Continence Promotion and Management and has completed her Pelvic Assessment for Continence training through UTAS amongst other things. Together with her extensive Pilates training and experience she is able to create a program to help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

At 3 Degrees we offer mat classes for all ages and stages of life! We have classes which are focused on healthy ageing, classes for women postnatally as well as general classes for fitness, building strength and increasing balance and flexibility. If you require rehabilitation from injury or surgery or would like some individual attention we also have studio groups. These are classes of up to 3 clients with one instructor and each client is given exercises specific to their needs. If you would like to know what class you would benefit from most please contact the studio and we can help guide you!

Peta is also the founder of the charity Women’s Health Education Network.