Photo: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul
Boot camps and sculpting classes will whip you into shape and make you feel sore from head to to. Despite their thoroughness, even these exercise programs tend to ignore a key muscle group--and that's a huge deal, because this area can cause embarrassing and frustrating problems. We're talking about the pelvic floor, and even if you're not familiar with it, if you suffer from incontinence, you know what weak pelvic muscles can do (or, um, not do).
RELATED: Dr. Oz's Excuse Busting Workout
Pelvic floor training, or doing regular exercises designed to strengthen the pelvic muscles, can be effective in curing urinary incontinence--and has far less side effects than the other popular treatment of estrogen therapy, concludes a new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
RELATED: Dr. Oz's Ultimate Orgasm Libido Boosters
Best of all, you don't need a gym membership or a set of weights to do these exercises, although you might benefit from a session with a women's health physical therapist who can help you develop a regimen. With approximately a quarter of young women and up to 57 percent of middle-aged and postmenopausal women having these kinds of problems, it's never too early add pelvic workouts into your fitness routine. To start, make sure you're practicing Kegels correctly, and then challenge yourself with these more advanced pelvic clocks.
RELATED: The Naked Diet Plan
More from Oprah.com:
• Delicious brunch recipes you can make the night before
• The 5 essential handbags every woman should own
• Slim down by standing still
• 11 ways to experience more joy at work
• Subscribe to O, The Oprah Magazine and save up to 78%
Like O, The Oprah Magazine on Facebook