Do you want to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, prevent urinary incontinence, and improve sexual function? If yes, then kegel exercises are your answer! Read on to learn everything you need to know about these simple yet effective movements and how to do them the right way.
What are kegel exercises?
kegel exercises, named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, are simple movements designed to help strengthen the muscles in your pelvic floor - the group of muscles that support your bladder, uterus, rectum, and small intestine. By strengthening these muscles, you can prevent or alleviate urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and even improve sexual function.
Benefits of kegel exercises
By practicing kegel exercises regularly, you can reap the following benefits:
- Prevent urinary incontinence
- Prevent or treat fecal incontinence
- Improve sexual function and satisfaction
- Reduce pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)
- Assist in preventing pelvic organ prolapse
- Improve core stability and posture
- Enhance recovery after childbirth or surgery
How to Locate Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Before you can start practising kegel exercises, it's important to know how to locate and isolate your pelvic floor muscles. The easiest way to do this is by trying to stop the flow of urine during urination. The muscles you use to do this are your pelvic floor muscles. However, this method should only be performed to identify the muscles and should not be a method of practicing Kegels – doing so can lead to urinary tract infection.
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How to Do kegel exercises
Once you have located your pelvic floor muscles, you can start practising kegel exercises by following these steps:
- Sit or lie down comfortably with your feet flat on the floor and your legs shoulder-width apart.
- Empty your bladder completely.
- Relax your body, especially your abdomen and thigh muscles.
- Tighten your pelvic floor muscles by contracting them. Imagine pulling the muscles up and inwards. You should feel your pelvic floor muscles lifting as you do this.
- Hold the contraction for 5-10 seconds.
- Relax your pelvic floor muscles for an equal amount of time to allow them to recover.
- Repeat this process 10-15 times for one set.
- Perform three sets of kegel exercises a day.
It's essential to focus only on your pelvic floor muscles rather than engaging your abdomen, buttocks, or thighs during the process. If you're unsure whether you're doing the exercises correctly, consult a pelvic floor therapist or healthcare provider for guidance.
Over time, you will feel your pelvic floor muscles getting stronger. As you progress, you can gradually increase the intensity of the workout. Increase the duration of the contractions and decrease the relaxation time between contractions. You can practice kegel exercises daily or every other day, depending on your preference.
How Do You Do kegel exercises Example:
For example, a beginner Kegel exercise routine may look like this:
1. Sit or lie down comfortably in a relaxed position.
2. Empty bladder completely, then tighten your pelvic floor muscles for 5 seconds.
3. Relax your muscles for 5 seconds.
4. Repeat this process 10 times for one set.
5. Perform three sets a day.
As you get stronger, you might increase to 10-second contractions with a 5-second relaxation period, still doing three sets a day. Remember, it's essential to progress gradually and listen to your body.
kegel exercises are a powerful and cost-free tool for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, improving your quality of life, and boosting your sexual health. What are you waiting for? Start practicing kegel exercises today and experience their incredible benefits. If you found this guide helpful, don't forget to share it with your friends and explore our other resources on Pelvic Floor Therapy! Together, we can all enjoy a healthy and empowered life.