The Impact Stress has on our Gut and Pelvic Floor


This week two of my clients have made ‘big breakthroughs’ in their fitness and weight loss – and what have they done?  A lot less.

I am more and more convinced by the impact that rest, relaxation, stopping and being has on weight loss, stress, anxiety and strength gains –it’s not a nice to have, it’s an essential part of the mix. And in terms of pelvic floor strength it is huge and here’s why.

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I have just read Gut by Giulia Enders who explains the impact of chronic stress well.  Our bodies handle stress brilliantly with the hormone adrenalin – we go into fight or flight mode.  The brain borrows energy from the digestive system to make sure it has enough glucose.  This does stop the digestive process but that’s totally fine as a rare event.

This system however becomes a problem when we’re under chronic stress and have feelings of nausea, fatigue, being overwhelmed, anxious or tightness in the chest most of the time.  This is because our brain is taking glucose / energy from the digestive tract for fuel and is on constant red alert.  This in turn means that our gut is not being fuelled properly and so can’t digest the food which not only leads to malabsorption of vital nutrients but also constipation or diarrhoea. This puts increased load onto our pelvic floor which is not what we want as we are trying to strengthen it and allow it to do it’s job.

Athletes have known this for ages, so why is it taking the rest of us so long to work it out.  Optimising rest and recovery so you can train harder is big business. When National Lottery funding was introduced 20 years ago yes it helped with research and development, technology, funding top coaches – but most importantly it meant that athletes could rest in-between sessions.  They didn’t start training four or five times a day even though they had the time they slept, cooked, went to the physio – rested and recovered so they could train again.

Maybe I am seeing such massive benefits in this area because I would naturally do more – plan more, do more exercise, eat better when in actual fact from doing less I feel so much healthier and have a fitter body. It’s worth a try regardless of how alien a concept it may be – it’s certainly on my agenda as I work with clients to help them connect and strengthen their pelvic floor and become Strong to the Core.  It’s not easy but the things that make the difference never are.

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I’ve got a new Every Woman Course starting in a couple of weeks which will explore this concept in greater detail – it would be wonderful if you could join me.

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