Whether it's traveling for vacation or the holidays, long flights and car rides can put your pelvic floor through added stress. Luckily it doesn't have to be!
You can enjoy your travels and be free of achey muscles and leaking with following these tips:
Hydrate! This is crucial. Traveling can easily dehydrate you which can lead to unhappy muscles and pelvic floor. Aim for having half your body weight in ounces of water. If you're nursing you may need to increase this amount to keep from further dehydration. Hydration also helps keeps your lymphatic system circulating which is your immune system. This is especially handy during holiday season when the flu/cold are lurking around.
Don't go "just in case" pee. You know when you're thinking about how long the drive is going to be and how you want to get there as fast as possible with no stops... "oh I'll go pee just in case" is really hard on your pelvic floor. When doing this, we start to train the bladders sensory signals the need to release sooner than needed. This will ultimately cause frequency of urination more than necessary (once every couple hours depending on how much you are drinking).
Add movement and mobility. If you're in a plane it's a bit easier to get up and walk around. Driving, however, can keep you bound for longer periods of time. Be sure to get out of the car whenever you stop to stretch or move your joints. If seated you can always do pelvic tilts, calf raises, ankle circles, and thoracic mobility with seated cat cow and rotational movements.
Breathe! Adding in diaphragmatic breaths can slow down the nervous system and put you in a parasympathetic state (rest and digest). Traveling can be stressful, seeing relatives can be stressful, driving/flying with babies... stressful. So get your body in a little nervous system reset with some great breaths.
Stop the clenching! I don't know about you but traveling always forces me to clench. While seated its clenching the jaw and having the shoulders shrugged towards my ears. When standing is glute clenching. Clenching will increase your pelvic floor tension and likelihood of PF symptoms. If this starts to happen do a little massage, shake out or wiggle session, and some mobility movement in that particular joint.
Regardless of what means you are traveling with aim to try to walk around every 90-120 mins (1.5 - 2 hours). Even if it means you do a quick stop and air squats, walk around, jumping jacks your body and pelvic floor will be really thankful you did.
Bonus Tip: if you're traveling with babies who do not like to travel for long periods of time the 90-120 mins stretch out rule is a great one to follow! Find a nearby park or beach to stretch out and change the stimulus.
I hope you find these. Tips to help your pelvic floor and traveling. Stay safe my friend!
Your pre/postnatal Strength Coach
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