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Take the pelvic floor challenge this World Continence Week

Continence NZ is inviting everyone to start a healthy new habit by doing pelvic floor exercises daily this World Continence Week, 17 to 23 June 2024.

The campaign to bring attention to an important group of muscles, that is often ignored, is being spearheaded by Kiwi favourite, entertainer Jason Gunn. Jason is taking on the pelvic floor challenge himself and encouraging everyone to give it a go.

“You know the great thing about these pelvic floor exercises, you can do them anywhere, you can do them anytime,” he says.

He’s had some first-hand tips from pelvic health physiotherapist Liz Childs. “There’s a huge lack of awareness about the pelvic floor muscles – where they are, how to exercise them and what can go wrong if they’re not functioning well,” Childs says.
“People often have difficulty activating the pelvic floor muscles. You can’t see them, they’re in an awkward place and many people have never tried to exercise them before.”

Childs adds that maintenance of a strong pelvic floor is essential for good pelvic health, as “not only can it be beneficial for helping reduce leakage for the more than one million Kiwis who experience continence issues, but it can also help to prevent problems from happening in the future.”

Although pelvic floor issues are more commonly associated with specific groups like birthing parents and older people, pelvic floor muscle strengthening is important for everyone.

“Just like any other muscle, strengthening your pelvic floor muscles helps to keep them functioning well,” says Continence NZ Executive President Dr Anna Lawrence.

“It can be hard to start new habits, and this is particularly true regarding pelvic floor muscles – many people don’t know what and where they are, and about the important role they play in our bladder, bowel, and overall pelvic function. And because bladder, bowel, and pelvic health are often not talked about, it can be difficult to know whether or not you might have an issue, what is ‘normal’, and when you should consider seeking help.”

Dr Lawrence says Continence NZ is helping people kickstart this new habit and ‘Take the Pelvic Floor Challenge’ by doing pelvic floor exercises daily from 17 to 23 June - nearly 250 people have signed up already.

“Sign up for this Pelvic Floor Challenge and Continence NZ will send daily information, resources, motivation, and tips directly to your inbox. By the end of the week, you will have started your journey towards a healthy new habit.”

If you are worried or need advice Continence NZ can help - visit continence.org.nz or call 0800 650 659.