CONGRATS Bradley Wiggins - winner of the 2012 Tour de France bike race.
In recession Britain we need as much good news as we can get so sharing in his success this weekend is as welcome as saying goodbye to the recent rains and floods. Hopefully the combination of 'Bradley-cycle-mania', good weather and visions of those uber-fit Olympians will trickle down to us couch potatoes and trigger a whole new wave of cycling activity.
It's about time too, because a recent OECD report found Britain has the highest rates of overweight and obesity in the EU - making us almost as fat as our American counterparts.
An impressive 27 million of us here in the UK own bikes - no-doubt that figure is rising rapidly following Bradley's success - however, many of us just don't use them. Kegel8 is here to tell you - it's time to get on your bike, and here's why:
- Cycling is perfect if you have a weak pelvic floor or pelvic organ prolapse (POP) - because it isn't a weight-bearing exercise, and your body is supported.
- Cycling burns up 300 calories an hour. A recent study looking into menopause and stress incontinence found that it wasn't menopause itself that caused bladder weakness it was the weight gained during menopause that caused the incontinence.
- Cycling is good for your heart - cycle 20 miles a week and you'll reduce the chance of suffering heart problems by half.
The Bike Seat Dilemma
We love you Bradley - but you can keep your drop handle bars and your razor sharp bike seat.
Bike seats have been shown to cause erection problems in men and it seems that we females are not immune either.
In a recent Yale study women cyclists (compared to runners) reported less genital sensation - now as many of us know, a weak pelvic floor and POP can also reduce intimate sensation and this is just what we don't need to hear. We want to be fit, we want to be healthy with a strong pelvic floor and by-goodness - we want that sexy-sensation back again!
The Yale researchers found that if we lean forward, flatten our back and put our hands on the “drop bars” for an aerodynamic position we put more pressure on our perineum and this causes the problem.
So how can we avoid a 'numb crotch'? Simple - adjust your handle bars up, sit up straight and invest in a comfy bike seat! Larger seats offer more support so you can sit on all three 'sit' bones (tripod) and seats with a hollowed out centre takes the pressure off your perineum completely.
Therapist Tasha Mulligan, on the Prolapse Health Forum says 'Riding my bike requires me to hinge at the hips and reach forward with my arms in perfect posture to lift "everything" by drawing all the connective tissue and fascial supports taught, as you are required to keep your chest up and head up when riding. So great for my prolapse. And as for seats...comfortable means something different to every rider. Knowing that you should aim to be riding with pressure on your "tripod", often a middle depression or cut out will decrease the friction up front on your pubic bone.'
Let us know how you get on (not literally) with the bike riding and let's see if we get fit and strong together!