When we think “exercise” we often think about getting 6-pack abs or a behind like JLo. But what if I told you there’s one miracle exercise you’re not doing that could provide you with life-changing benefits way beyond a flat stomach or the perfect derriere?
Doing Kegel exercises strengthens the pelvic muscles and has multiple health and sexual wellness benefits for men and women.
The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles that wrap around the underside of the bladder and bowel. In women, these muscles also include the uterus. Both men and women run the risk of pelvic floor dysfunction which includes abnormal bowels and pain in your pelvic area and genitals.
Many women start to notice problems with their pelvic floor after pregnancy, childbirth or menopause. Men can experience weakened pelvic floor muscles after surgery for bladder or bowel issues, an injury after heavy lifting or are in poor physical health. Men who have had prostate surgery are required to strengthen these muscles as part of the recovery process so they can control their bladder.
Both men and women can experience challenges with their pelvic floor muscles, so learning how to consistently strengthen them is key to a healthy pelvic floor
How do I know If I have a pelvic floor issue?
- leaking urine when you laugh, exercise, cough or sneeze
- constantly needing to go to the bathroom
- rushing to the bathroom and not making it there in time
- losing control of your bladder or bowel
- dropping, heaviness or pulling feeling in vagina or feeling a bulge in the vagina can be related to vaginal prolapse
While these symptoms can be related to your pelvic floor, there might be other causes so it’s always important to see your doctor if you’re experiencing pain with emptying or controlling your bowels or having pain with urination.
Doing regular Kegel exercises can help with these pelvic floor issues and can also improve overall sexual health and satisfaction.
The good news, is Kegels are easy to do, only take five minutes a day, you can do them anywhere, and you’ll experience the benefits within 6-8 weeks (or less!). Just like working out any other muscle at the gym, you have to be consistent with your Kegel exercises.
How to Kegel
Kegel exercises are not only easy to do, but can also be done anywhere. You can use a system that will trigger and remind you to do them every time you’re at a traffic light, standing in line at the grocery store, or talking on the phone. It doesn’t matter where you do them, as long as you’re doing them correctly.
Starter Kegel exercise tips:
● Find a comfortable position, that isn’t on the toilet.
Some people find it’s easier to do them while lying down.
● Hold or squeeze the PC muscles for three seconds, then relax for three seconds. Make sure not to tighten your stomach or thigh muscles, and don’t worry if you can’t last the whole three seconds on your first try.
● To try more advanced exercises, practice increasing the time you are holding from three to five seconds, and alternate with quick pulses.
● Repeat this entire process up to 15 times per session. It’s best to do them everyday, on a regular schedule and set reminders to keep you on track.
You can also try an app like Kegel Camp to set a daily reminder on your phone so you’ll never forget to do them! The app also challenges you through 20 levels, each one with increasing difficulty, to make sure that you’re reaching new levels of pelvic floor strength.
Originally posted 2015-10-21 10:50:51.
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