We Love: Elvie
It’s been 3.3 years since the birth of my last child, and I’ve put my pelvic floor right at the bottom of my to-do list. I knew its performance wasn’t optimal, but as I didn’t have time to jog around the park anyway the threat of prolapse was a little less urgent.
A super-cool French female doctor I know was horrified by my nonchalance: “Do you think if a man peed himself by accident running for the bus one day, he wouldn’t get himself straight to Harley Street?” Point well made.
In France, there are no trampolining fears for women. They look after their pelvic floors as tenderly as their newborn petit prince. Apparently, all French women have help from an electrically stimulating gizmo after giving birth.
In the UK, we now have Elvie – a discreet, mobile-connected, medical-grade silicone pod that helps new mums strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. It’s gamified kegel exercises, introducing an element of fun into what is even more banal than brushing teeth.
Given how of late there’s been nothing to do (sort of), nowhere to go and no one to see, I’ve had a chance to look down in lockdown and get to grips with Elvie.
It’s a thing of beauty: soft to the touch, pleasing on the eye. All you need is five minutes a day to commune with it.
Once you’ve got it snugly inside, the pod pairs with the Elvie app that guides you through the games. There’s a crystal you need to move up or down or hold in place, achieved by the intensity and regularity of your squeezing. At first, I was feeble. My score was sad. But by my 10th session, I was seeing some decent improvement.
When the crystal changed colour I progressed to the next level, and it seemed to be genuinely in synch with my pelvic strength. Someone on Insta threw the 5k run at me for Help for Heroes, and my pelvic floor - and legs and lungs - did me proud.
Elvie is easy to use, but with two caveats. Get your position right – for me, it was sitting legs in front, straight spine; for you, it might be legs akimbo or standing up (the instructions don’t deep dive into all the potential variants.) Secondly - and this is pretty basic - make sure you are charged. It’s crushing when you’ve dedicated said 5 minutes, only to have the battery limp out and then not log your score. With all that in place, this very personal trainer will give you great results.