We’ve been talking this month about the many health benefits of stretching, but did you realize that stretching helps constipation and incontinence as well?
It’s true. A new study that came out from Beth Israel Medical Center shows that stretching has a beneficial effect on both.
There are a lot of reasons why we can get constipation. Things like not drinking enough water or eating enough fiber, or having too much sugar or fat in our diet are all known to cause constipation. But now we know that too little physical activity or prolonged sitting contributes to constipation, too. The Beth Israel study shows if we sit less and stretch more, we help the colon move its contents through faster and with more regularity, turning a sluggish colon into a more active one. Physical activity can help you avoid having to take laxatives.
Another thing the study points out is the connection between constipation and incontinence. As the bowels fill up they swell and can push on the bladder. That reduces space in the bladder that ordinarily would fill up with urine, causing us to feel like we need to go to the bathroom more often. Sometimes incontinence (when some urine leaks out) can be a result of the smaller space in the bladder.
Stretching helps you move better, feel younger, and improves your health.
But keeping the colon clean isn’t the only way stretching helps incontinence. Stretching certain muscle groups also helps the pelvic floor muscles that control your bowel and bladder. Lengthening and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can actually eliminate incontinence. Approximately 67% of women have some form of incontinence that can be relieved or eliminated by proper stretching techniques.
If you're looking for guidance on how to stretch, Superior Physical Therapy has a program for people who want to move better, feel younger and improve their health. It's called Stretch Me. You can learn more at StretchMeTC.com. If you use the code stretchmefree, you can try a free session with our Stretchologist.
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