While they’re often associated with intimacy, kegel exercises go far beyond the realm of the bedroom. They can control, and sometimes even prevent, urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor problems that often increase with age.
Kegels are an essential exercise that all women should be implementing into their daily routine. They strengthen the pelvic floor that becomes weakened over time due to pregnancy, childbirth, aging, chronic constipation, and being overweight. They may seem daunting, but once you understand how to do them and why you’ll be doing them in no time.
The pelvic floor muscles that Kegels target also play an important role in sexual health. Strengthening these muscles can reduce pain and discomfort during sex, making the ability to achieve pleasurable sensations heightened.
How to Do a Kegel
The most crucial step to Kegels is identifying the right muscle. When you’re using the bathroom, stop urination midstream. The muscles in the pelvic floor that are targeted with Kegels are responsible for this action. Once you’ve identified them, familiarize yourself by contracting the muscles and relaxing to get a feel for the area.
To get the most out of your kegel exercises, always go to the bathroom before beginning. As a beginner, you can sit or lie down when you’re ready to begin. After getting in a comfortable position, tense the muscles in your pelvic floor for a count of three seconds, then relax them for a count of three seconds. Repeat the two motions until you’ve done 10 of them. Avoid holding your breath, making sure to breathe freely during the exercises.
Over the next several days, practice until you can hold your muscles for a count of 10 seconds. Your goal should be to do three sets of 10 every day. Don’t worry if you don’t feel the results immediately– Kegels take time and patience. It can take as long as a few months to feel the effects of strengthening your pelvic floor with Kegels for urinary incontinence.
While we use the pelvic floor muscles during urination, you mustn’t make a habit of doing Kegel exercises to start and stop your urine stream. Doing Kegels while going to the bathroom can lead to further urinary incontinence, resulting in incomplete emptying of the bladder and increasing the risk of a urinary tract infection.
Kegels work differently for each person. The good news is that while for some people, it may take a while to notice a difference in muscle control and urinary continence, they can work to prevent your condition from getting any worse.
A Kegel should never hurt. If you feel any pain or discomfort, then it’s likely you’re tensing the muscles too hard. The muscles in the abdomen, back, buttocks, and sides should remain loose when you’re contracting the pelvic floor muscles. If you still experience pain or discomfort, speak with your doctor.
You can do Kegel exercises in any position that’s comfortable for you. As you practice, you’ll find you can do them anywhere. While it’s important to do them every day, you don’t want to overdo Kegel exercises. If you work the muscles too hard, they’ll become sore and unable to do their necessary functions.
Finally, you can expect noticeable results from Kegels within a few weeks to a few months. For continued benefits and prevention of further concerns, make Kegel exercises a permanent part of your daily routine.