How can I remember to do my pelvic floor exercises?
In my experience as a pelvic floor physiotherapist, one of the main problems that patients have with treatment is actually remembering to do their exercises. No matter how motivated they are, many women still find it a struggle to perform the required three sets a day. Here are some useful tips to help you remember your exercises:
Try to establish a routine
Decide in advance when will be the best time of day to perform your exercises. Attaching them to something else that you do regularly will increase the likelihood of getting them done.
Star or dot stickers
One of the simplest techniques is to stick small dot or star stickers around your home or office. These serve as discreet reminders to tighten those pelvic floor muscles. Place them on your kettle or purse, or near the photocopier in the office. The idea is not to stick them where you can see them all the time or you will soon not notice they are there. Put them on things that you see every now and again. Change the colour of the stickers every week so you continue to notice them.
Smart phone apps
There are a variety of apps available for smartphones that help you to perform pelvic floor exercises. Some examples of free apps are:
- PFF – My pelvic Floor Fitness: This app contains clear instructions as to how to perform your exercises and also helps you to assess how strong your muscles are. It also contains a reminder to help you build pelvic floor exercises into your everyday routine.
- Get BladderFit: Get BladderFit contains a simple assessment tool as well as a bladder tracking diary. It also gives you personal progress charts.
You can also set up your own reminders on your phone or computer or even use an old fashioned alarm clock or watch.
Sometimes not knowing if you are doing the right thing, or if you are progressing, can make you lose motivation. Using the Educator or Aquaflex Cones can be very useful for showing that your muscles are actually working and that you are getting somewhere.
By Alison Bourne MA (Cantab) BSc MCSP ACPWH