Kegels exercises are most often associated with pregnancy. However, they are an important part of our overall health as women whether or not we have been or currently are pregnant. Kegels exercise strengthens the pelvic floor muscles that are responsible for keeping our pelvic organs in place in order to avoid urinary incontinence. Kegels increase sexual response as well. As the pelvic floor muscles are strengthened, women have reported more sexual satisfaction.
Kegel exercises are named after Dr. Kegels who developed them. Sometimes the pelvic floor muscles are even referred to as Kegels muscles. If you have never done Kegels exercises, one easy way to identify your pelvic floor muscles is to start and stop the flow of urine. Once you know where the muscles are, you can exercise them almost anytime without anyone even knowing. You can exercise in the car, while watching television, or sitting at the computer. It is important to exercise your kegels everyday for about 5-10 minutes by alternatingly clentching and relaxing the muscles in 30 second intervals. While doing kegels workouts, make sure to keep breathing. While doing kegels, it can be easy to tighten the muscles in the buttocks, abdomen, or thighs, so remember to isolate the pelvic floor muscles.
If you have never done kegels, they may feel awkward at first. Keep at it. Just as in any exercise, it may take a few sessions before you are comfortable with the workout. One technique many women recommend is to do kegels while at a stop light in traffic. You can exercise your kegels by simply tightening the muscles and holding them, with a short rest period in between. Start at 10 seconds and work your way up to 30 seconds. Another easy kegels exercise is to hold for 5 seconds and then release for 5 seconds. You can work up to 10 seconds with rest in between.
If you are pregnant, doing kegels everyday during your pregnancy can help to make childbirth easier. The stress of childbirth can stretch your muscles. Kegels will help your muscles rebound more quickly. You will also be less likely to experience stress incontinence (such as urinating while coughing) after childbirth.
If you are having trouble doing kegels, consider discussing the issue at your next docto'’s appointment or with other women. Although we may feel some embarrassment in discussing these issues, they are common to women. Men can also experience Kegels benefits from the workouts, although this is less commonly known. Some doctors even recommend doing Kegels exercises using biofeedback to ensure they are done correctly. Seeking help to increase health and well-being is one way to empower ourselves as women.