What Are Kegels, and Why Should I Do Them?
Unlike the biceps or quadriceps, your pelvic floor muscles are very much unseen. Out of sight and out of mind perhaps. But these muscles do a really important job in supporting your bladder and waterworks, bowel and back passage. Strong pelvic floor muscles can even improve your orgasms and support erections in men.
As you age these pelvic floor muscles can start to weaken which can result in embarrassing situations like urinary incontinence or passing gas (even faeces sometimes) by accident.
Other conditions that can weaken these muscles apart from aging include:
– Pelvic surgery (including Caesarean section).
– Frequent coughing, sneezing.
– Prostate or bladder problems in men.
How to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles
Simply by practicing Kegel exercises (also known as pelvic floor exercises) for a few minutes, two or three times daily, can lead to a major improvement in your waterworks and ability to control urinary leakage within a few weeks. As an additional bonus, Kegel exercises can also help you have more intense orgasms, and in men also improve erections.
Like most things, Kegel exercises are easy to do, once you know how. It’s all about knowing where the muscles are located and how to activate them. The easiest way to do this is to locate your muscles during urination as follows:
Sit on the toilet and once urine starts to flow, squeeze your muscles to hold in, stop or slow down the flow of urine.
Remember there is no need to hold your breath or tighten the muscles in your tummy, buttocks, or legs.
When you can slow or stop the flow of urine, you’ve successfully located these muscles.
Some men describe finding the pelvic floor muscles by imagining that they are trying to prevent the passage of wind. When these muscles are squeezed, a pulling sensation results.
Start slow and go slow.
Try squeezing your pelvic floor muscles for three seconds, and then relax for three seconds. Repeating this ten times in a row is a complete set. Try to work up to one set two to three times a day. Make them part of your daily routine. Do a set while you’re driving the car, watching TV or eating dinner.
When starting off, it may be easier to do Kegel exercises lying down, so your muscles don’t need to fight against gravity. As you build up and get better after a few weeks, you can do them standing up which puts more weight on the muscles and further enhances your control.
Prevention is better than cure. Start doing these Kegel exercises today to keep you healthier and happier you down the road.