Hab-it Exercises Forums Ask Tasha! A few questions regarding exercise/habits over the long term

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  • #27828
    Ellie
    Guest

    Hi Tasha. Firstly, thank you for taking the time to help all of us here and for putting so much time and effort into answering our questions (I’ve been on here before). You’re a godsend! 🙂

    Secondly, my questions/queries….I’m 14mths pp, with a cystocele and rectocele diagnosed at about 4wks pp. My inital rehab included isolated pelvic floor exercises and the use of a pessary (from about 8wks pp to 4.5mths pp). After about 8wks pp I started doing some yoga, walking daily and doing some daily core strengthening exercises. After an initial diagnosis of grade 1 (to 2) cystocele and rectocele, a follow-up appointment at about 6mths pp showed that the prolapses had reduced to less than grade 1 and that my pelvic floor muscle strength was a 4/5 and that the vaginal introitus was also smaller in size. This was awesome news for me and even though I still had some symptoms I felt a lot better.

    It was at about this time that I finally started doing your Habit DVD (after purchasing it several months prior) and with the new year, I decided my goal was to become stronger, so that I can go on to have another (or perhaps two) baby and do so with confidence. Anyway, about two months after doing your exercises daily I was pretty much symptom free and I felt soooo much stronger in my core and everywhere really. After doing the Habit DVD for about three months, I purchased the advanced workout video and the plyometrics one too (though I haven’t looked at this one yet). Unfortunately, I found the advanced one was a bit too hard for me still, so I started doing my own routines, which included some of your exercises from Habit, as well as exercises from other online resources.

    Fast forward to now (14mths pp) and I went to a new physio a couple of days ago and much to my dismay, she diagnosed me as having closer to grade 2 cystocele and rectocele. This really got me down (even though I know that I shouldn’t worry about the “numbers”) and since then I’ve wondered whether it’s simply that it’s a different physio with a different scaling system or if things really have got worse. On top of this, I’ve suddenly started feeling a bit symptomatic again (lower back/abdominal pain mainly), which I know must be somewhat psychosomatic, as a week ago I was feeling fine. I also checked with a mirror and things do indeed look lower than they did six months ago, so despite feeling that perhaps the new diagnosis is just a difference of opinion, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps things have got worse again (though without symptoms….up until two days ago).

    So, to get to the point….I know that you talk about splitting the year up into three periods of exercise routines. I’ve read the “Educate Yourself” sections on this, but am still not clear about it. Could you give me an exampple? For example, I stopped doing habit and started doing my own daily “strengthening” exercises and a weekly pelvic-floor-friendly aerobics/exercise class for mums, but it seems that things have got worse. I’ve just started Habit again and will continue for at least six weeks, but then what after that? Also, should I only walk for three months of the year? What about yoga? Should I also only do it for three months? I’m just a bit confused, as I usually have exercise routines (like walking and yoga) that I do throughout the year. Should I also continue with the two-step kegels throughout the year, despite any other routines? I definitely feel I need these (despite reading how isolated kegels have their place in direct rehab only) and feel that with the most recent diagnosis that perhaps not doing them hasn’t done me any favours.

    Is it normal for things to fluctuate like this due to activity/or lack thereof etc?

    I’m wondering whether perhaps it’s all due to my pretty active lifestyle. I go for a daily 3-4km walk with my son in the pram, do the daily “strengthening” exercises and a weekly pelvic-floor-friendly aerobics/exercise class for mums. Or could it be because I’ve been a bit lax about my strengthening exercises (I find that I don’t do things as well when I do them without a video…you know, not holding things as long, or not doing exercises that focus on the right areas etc), or if it’s because I’m so much more active now and do a LOT of lifting of my 11kg toddler, plus running around after him, picking things up off the floor etc, as well as the fact I no longer get a chance to have a lie-down/nap in the afternoons (which I always did for the first 7mths pp).

    Anyway, this has become quite an essay and is probably hard to follow, so I’ll stop there.

    Thanks once again.
    Ellie 🙂

    #27879
    Ellie
    Guest

    A quick update – I’ve just done four days of the Habit DVD after seeing the second physio and realising things were a bit lower and already things feel and look higher. Now, I’m not sure if this is from the two-step kegels, or because I’ve been doing exercises with a video and therefore, I’ve been doing them better (I know I sometimes get lax when doing exercises without a video, or perhaps it’s that I don’t choose the right kind of exercises that I need to keep my pelvic floor strong).

    Anyway, do you think this means I need to always continue with the two-step kegels, despite moving on from Habit to other videos/exercises? Or do I need to always keep up with Habit? I’ve read a lot about how it’s very important to do functional exercises, so that you’re strengthening the muscles surrounding and supporting the pelvic floor and that after a certain period of isolated pelvic floor exercises, it’s no longer necessary to do them, rather to just continue with the functional exercises. However, it seems that not doing the isolated exercises has left me with everything a bit lower.

    Now I’m just confused, as I really thought I was doing appropriate exercises that I’ve found from resources similar to yours, yet it seems that things got worse and now with the Habit DVD, they’re improving again.

    #28946
    Tasha
    Keymaster

    Ellie,
    You may be a patient that responds really well to the 2 step Kegel – its certainly not hard to work 4 of them before your workout and 4 after -so stay with them if your body is responding well.

    I know you said you got the Hab It cardio program, right? Have you worked through the 7 Day Advanced Stabilization program? If not – go to this one – just begin with all planks performed with your hands on the 3rd stair and your feet on the ground and if any plank is too difficult, simply substitute one that your body is able to work through holding appropriate stabilization. Remember – you should not feel increased symptoms after any specific exercise!

    As for training blocks throughout your year – if you love to walk and do yoga you can work 3 months of that, then 2 month strengthening block with the 7 Day Advanced Stab program, then come back to the walking and Yoga. Bottom line you have to break up your routine and strengthening is a must. This doesn’t mean you can go for a walk at all, but they would be shorter and less frequent.

    Now, the most important thing for you to be sure you are doing is holding neutral spine throughout your day. Soft knees, tail bone lifted, belly button pulled up and in, chest up, hands open, throughout your day!

    Tasha

    #29292
    Mary
    Guest

    Tasha,

    Why should the walks be shorter and less frequent? Do you think walking is harmful if done too much or are you just saying that for a time period her emphasis and time would be better placed on another activity so she would spend less time on the walking to make it all work for her schedule?

    #30132
    Tasha
    Keymaster

    Right Mary,
    I love to coach training blocks – this is because our bodies are awesome and they become very efficient in whatever activity we consistently perform. With that in mind, if we walk daily for an hour – eventually we burn less calories and plateau in the benefit of that walk on both our muscular and cardiovascular systems. So at the 3 month mark, I highly recommend you shake it up. Change your focus from consistent 1 hour walks, which I would call an endurance block, to a strengthening block. During this strengthening block you would spend 20-30 minutes on the 7 Day Advanced program and if you wanted to still walk for a shorter, quicker 20-30 walk you could still do that (although i would like to see you through in a bike, a roller blade, a swim, etc) Then at the end of 2-3 months of strengthening, you may move back to your 1 hour daily walks, or you may choose to move on to the Hab It Interval workouts which would challenge your body in a different way.

    Bottom line – train smart. Look at your year in training blocks – plan it out!

    tasha

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