If there is an exercise that you can do without having to go to the gym or buy any equipment that has physical and possibly sexual benefits, you should probably do it every day.
One such exercise is Kegel exercises, which help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. People also call it the invisible exercise, because you can do it discreetly, whether you’re sitting at a desk or lounging on the couch. While Kegel exercises are a great exercise to do during and after pregnancy, one can do them anytime and anywhere.
Learn more about Kegel exercises, their benefits, who should do them, and how you can add them to your daily routine.
Understanding Kegel exercises
Kegel exercises help strengthen the muscles of the pelvic area. It involves tensing and then relaxing the pelvic muscles and genitals. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that act like a hammock holding the organs in place.
Doing these exercises regularly can strengthen the muscles under the uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum. In short, Kegel exercises are a way to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic area.
Benefits of Kegel exercises for men and women
Kegel exercises were developed in the 1940s to help women prevent urine leakage. In addition, it improves bladder control during pregnancy or after childbirth.
A study shows that Kegel exercises also help treat stress or incontinence. It is a condition in which a small amount of urine is released when you cough, sneeze or laugh. Kegel exercises can also help strengthen the rectal muscles to prevent fecal incontinence.
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition in which the uterus, urethra, or intestines prolapse into the vagina. It often results from a vaginal delivery. Kegels can provide adequate support and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles as part of a treatment plan.
Kegel exercises can also be beneficial for men. By strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, men can help control prostate pain and swelling caused by prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia. In addition, it can also improve the condition of men sexual health.
Steps to do Kegel exercises for men and women
Find the right muscles
The first step is finding the right muscles to exercise. There are several ways you can determine which muscles to target during your exercise routine. If you’re having trouble finding the right muscles after trying different techniques, your healthcare provider can help you locate them.
Here are some methods you can try.
- Pretend to tighten your vagina around the tampon.
- Pretend you’re trying to hold in the gas
- While urinating, stop urinating halfway through
- Pretend you’re trying to hold in the gas
Find a comfortable position to lie down in. Start by contracting your pelvic floor muscles until you feel them engage. Make sure not to lift your pelvis or tighten your abdominal, leg and buttocks muscles. Once this is done, gradually increase the length of each contraction and relaxation. Try to do 30 to 40 repetitions a day, but spread them out throughout the day rather than doing them all at once.
Here are some Kegel exercise routines that you can try:
- Tighten your pelvic floor muscles and hold for ten seconds. Then relax for a few seconds before repeating.
- Squeeze quickly and relax your pelvic floor muscles several times in a row.
- A simple technique for beginners is to tense the muscle for three seconds, relax for three seconds, and repeat.
- It’s best to start slowly and increase the intensity as your muscles get stronger.
When you do Kegel exercises, you are strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. It helps you relax and control these muscles, which is essential for pregnancy and childbirth. Doing the exercises correctly can also help prevent the uterus, bladder, and bowels from sagging into the vagina. However, like any other type of exercise, you must do it regularly and properly to see results. Kegels are also convenient because you can do them anytime and anywhere without anyone knowing.
Essential tips for Kegel exercise
After you locate the muscles you want to engage, you can perform the exercise in whatever position you prefer. You should start lying down, but once you get more comfortable with the exercise, feel free to try it while sitting, standing, or in any other position. It will help you achieve optimal results.
Some other tips to follow are:
- Make sure not to squeeze or put pressure on other muscles such as the thighs, stomach, back, buttocks, and legs. Squeezing them means that you are not doing your Kegel exercise properly. Instead, place your hand on your stomach to track it.
- Make sure not to strain your pelvic muscles. It can lead to impairment in daily functioning.
- Do not continue to use Kegels to stop urinating halfway through. It will only lead to a UTI.
- When getting started, start with five three-second Kegels twice daily. Once you build your strength and endurance, you can also increase the duration and repetitions.
- Keep breathing! The most important thing is not to hold your breath while contracting your pelvic muscles. Instead, keep breathing throughout your sets.
Kegel exercises are exercises that help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These exercises can benefit people of all ages and help reduce the risk of urinary and fecal incontinence.
The exercises are easy, but you must be sure to engage the right muscles. You should try to do Kegel exercises every day. If you are having trouble performing the exercises, you should seek help from your healthcare provider.